Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

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RossyG
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#151 Post by RossyG » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:48 pm

As I said above, if you go to a Bond film, you expect him to be the star not the sidekick.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#152 Post by mfunk9786 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:50 pm

The villains and Bond girls are always the more interesting aspect of those films than Bond himself, though

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#153 Post by RossyG » Tue Nov 22, 2016 3:52 pm

I'd disagree with that.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#154 Post by domino harvey » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:35 pm

A Bond film where he's only a supporting player already sounds like a more novel idea than that franchise has had in a long time

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#155 Post by Ishmael » Tue Nov 22, 2016 4:42 pm

I just read Tobias Smollett's novel The Expedition of Humphry Clinker, and I was highly amused to find that Mr. Clinker was such an extremely minor character that every one of his scenes could simply be excised from the novel without any sort of rewriting to cover their deletion. Which is to say that I enjoy having my preconceptions subverted (though I don't know that Miller et al. had any real design along those lines but rather were probably just marketing a familiar franchise name).

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#156 Post by Feiereisel » Tue Nov 22, 2016 5:06 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:I guess I just don't understand why it's such a struggle for people to see the power balance that the film struck without being pre-warned in the marketing that Max wouldn't be in the spotlight and in charge the whole time. What difference does that make?
Exactly. He's present, and he has an arc that's resolved as part of the film's larger plot. The quality of that is subjective, certainly, but there's a difference between not liking a movie and wanting a different one.
RossyG wrote:There was no dramatic reason to have Max, really.
Other than the cause-and-effect structure of the film doesn't work without him in it, the easy answer is that Max is an auidence-identification character who provides "outside" perspective that the viewer can latch onto in order to make sense of the wasteland's factions. Watching Max, who has no affiliation with either faction, process the situation and side with Furiosa makes it easier for the audience to suspend disbelief. Furiosa is compelling enough on her own, sure, and Nux could serve the same function...if he did not speak in wasteland jargon. Max's presence allows Miller to contextualize the actions and intentions of the film's characters, and his presence makes back story and exposition purposeful and artful rather than tacked-on and inauthentic.

Better yet, Max's arc through the film, which culminates with him reasserting his own identity, dovetails with Furiosa and brides' fight for independence and helps create a film with a group rather than an individual at its center. This contrasts with Joe's monolithic worldview and speaks to the film's broader themes of democracy and cooperation.

Like Eastwood in the Dollars cycle, John McClane, or Bond, Max is central to the resolution of the film's drama.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#157 Post by Big Ben » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:14 pm

While I feel it's a very bad analysis on my part I'd say having Max assist in saving the women sort of redeems him from what caused him so much agony in the first place. In the beginning of the film he's a bit of a beast. Grubby and unshaven. By the time the film ends he's found some level of redemption.

Fury Road doesn't have the greatest plot ever devised but I'd certainly argue Max is important to it. I don't agree that Furiosa being front and center as well diminishes Max at all. He, in some way needs to save the women as much as Furiosa does.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#158 Post by Feiereisel » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:25 pm

Big Ben wrote:While I feel it's a very bad analysis on my part I'd say having Max assist in saving the women sort of redeems him from what caused him so much agony in the first place. In the beginning of the film he's a bit of a beast. Grubby and unshaven. By the time the film ends he's found some level of redemption.

Fury Road doesn't have the greatest plot ever devised but I'd certainly argue Max is important to it. I don't agree that Furiosa being front and center as well diminishes Max at all. He, in some way needs to save the women as much as Furiosa does.
His epiphany to turn their convoy around and run through Joe's forces also speaks to both of these things. It's not a clean redemption, as you say, but it's a decision that contradicts his beastly flight at the beginning of the movie. The "Green Place" that Furiosa intends to flee to pays off with the realization by the characters that they need to accept an imperfect reality over nonexistent perfection, which is demonstrated in the uneasy way Max and Furiosa begin their alliance.
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#159 Post by krnash » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:29 pm

RossyG wrote: I wish this was called Furiosa: Fury Road with Max removed altogether. I'd have probably liked it better.
So even after a second viewing, it's the title alone holding you back from enjoyment? What a dull medium it would be if we knew everything about a film going into it based on the title.

By the way, to your Bond reference, were you confused then to see that the main character in movies like Dr. No and Goldfinger were not in fact those titular villains but James Bond himself? Or does this only work the one way?

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RossyG
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#160 Post by RossyG » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:39 pm

Read what I said again. You quoted it, but ignored the "with Max removed altogether" part.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#161 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 10:47 am

Yes, read it again, it contains untold jewels and mysteries

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#162 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:36 am

Feiereisel wrote:Other than the cause-and-effect structure of the film doesn't work without him in it
I agree with you as a whole, though. But I understand how some might feel that, actually, Max doesn't have a big impact on the movie's story, and they're not very pleased by the story anyway (which probably emphasises their wishes to have had something else for a story).

I would have to watch the movie again to be sure, though, but I'm wondering if, in the end, it's not another Indiana Jones 1 movie, where you think the character sets things in motion when he actually doesn't really.

My GF, for instance, would answer that the movie anyway makes a U-turn halfway through for no deep reason, so basically, the first part of the movie seems useless in some way. There is a symbolic reason for that (the green place isn't oustide, it was inside), but to be fair, it's true you can find that very artificial.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#163 Post by swo17 » Wed Nov 23, 2016 11:44 am

Every film, upon first viewing, is fighting against your expectations. On subsequent viewings, it's fighting against your memories. Any bait-and-switch in the title shouldn't matter beyond the first viewing.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#164 Post by who is bobby dylan » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:05 pm

Just want to point out that Max is not incidental to the success of Furiosa's mission.

Without Max, Furiosa and the brides wouldn't have made it to the Green Place. Nux would have kamikazi-ed the war rig and they never would have made it out of the dust storm. If they somehow managed the dust storm, without Max's help driving the truck and fending off the bikers they never would have made it out of the canyon. If they somehow managed the canyon, without Max's help they wouldn't have stopped the Bullet farmer and made it out of the bog. And if they somehow managed that, they would be left driving endlessly through the desert?

Compare this to what was previously the "best" Mad Max movie in which Max (is actually incidental to the plot) contributes by stealing a truck (anyone could have done this) and then drives that truck as a diversion (anyone could have done this) all while uttering 16 lines of dialog. We're supposed to believe that the villagers need Max's help to get the truck because they're too stupid to come up with a plan (sending out a few outnumbered vehicles through an enemy convey in broad daylight) that could work for stealing it and so Max is smart because he's the only one who can think to steal the truck at night. Of course, Max's so called expertise is immediately undermined when he attempts to run through the enemy convoy alone, despite having witnessed the effectiveness of this tactic first hand and further undermined when it turns out the villagers were smarter than Max after all since (surprise) they used him as a diversion. If Max is dumb enough to run through the convoy by himself he's not smarter than the people he's helping and if they're smart enough to trick Max in the end why did they even need his help to understand the concept of cover of darkness in the first place?

Also removing Max from Fury Road kind of alters/destroys the message of the film, that it takes a collaboration between women AND men to destroy patriarchy. So yeah, it's fine not to like it or to derive deep meaning from it (no movie is for everybody), but the idea that the movie would somehow work without Max doesn't make a lot of sense.
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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#165 Post by knives » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:13 pm

Also he's the only character who really evolves and moves as a character in the movie. Some of the brides get more assertive, but the only other character that changes over the course of the movie is Hoult's character. In many respects it is still very much Max's film even if he takes a Jack Burton backseat to the narrative.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#166 Post by tenia » Wed Nov 23, 2016 2:23 pm

who is bobby dylan wrote:Without Max, [...]
I understand that in many of these examples, one could find an easy way to replace Max by another character.
I'm not saying it would be fair, and I certainly don't say it would basically be another movie, but I say I understand how some might feel that Max just do stuff that other characters could do, but just because it's called Mad Max, he is the one doing them. But you could definitely rewrite the movie by replacing Max by Furiosa or somebody else most of the time.

Saying the whole movie could be without Max is an hyperbole, but in many scenes, he doesn't do a lot of stuff nobody else but him can do. And when he does (the Bullet Farmer in the dark scene for instance), he's actually not shown doing it. He just goes and comes back unharmed after having miraculously defeated a bunch of enemies. When he is shown, he's just a stand for Furiosa to use the sniper gun because she actually is a better shooter than him. Wasn't there anybody else who could serve as a stand than Max ?

Even if the movie's underlying thematic and psychological evolutions work mostly through Max, practical actions-wise...

But as swo wonderfully put it, this is fighting against expectations and then memories. I guess people (included me, in some ways) expected Max to have more character-specific moments, despite previous movies not depicting him as a lead who has lots of very specific skills.

Knives' Jack Burton analogy is quite a good one : When I rewatched the movie a few years back (when the Arrow's BD was released), I didn't remember that Jack was so much on the side, story-wise. It works though, and that's also the case with Fury Road. But he's on the side nonetheless.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#167 Post by matrixschmatrix » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:35 pm

domino harvey wrote:A Bond film where he's only a supporting player already sounds like a more novel idea than that franchise has had in a long time
This is actually something that happens in at least one of the Fleming novels- The Spy Who Loved Me, the book, is told from the point of view of a woman who doesn't meet Bond until roughly halfway through.

This whole argument seems silly, in any case- Fury Road couldn't feel more like a Mad Max movie if the entire cast were all Mel Gibsons, like the Malkovich Malkovich scene from Being John Malkovich. Surely visual, thematic, and conceptual unity are more important to making a movie feel like part of a franchise than literally like what the characters are called? If you killed Max ten minutes in and had the rest of the movie remain the same- and still called it Mad Max - Fury Road- I don't see how that would be invalid, either.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#168 Post by DarkImbecile » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:42 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:...Fury Road couldn't feel more like a Mad Max movie if the entire cast were all Mel Gibsons, like the Malkovich Malkovich scene from Being John Malkovich.
Now all I can think about is a crazy-eyed Mel, mouth painted chrome, screaming "Witness me!" and diving from the war rig, explosive spears in hand.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#169 Post by Feiereisel » Wed Nov 23, 2016 3:46 pm

matrixschmatrix wrote:
domino harvey wrote:A Bond film where he's only a supporting player already sounds like a more novel idea than that franchise has had in a long time
This is actually something that happens in at least one of the Fleming novels- The Spy Who Loved Me, the book, is told from the point of view of a woman who doesn't meet Bond until roughly halfway through.

This whole argument seems silly, in any case- Fury Road couldn't feel more like a Mad Max movie if the entire cast were all Mel Gibsons, like the Malkovich Malkovich scene from Being John Malkovich. Surely visual, thematic, and conceptual unity are more important to making a movie feel like part of a franchise than literally like what the characters are called? If you killed Max ten minutes in and had the rest of the movie remain the same- and still called it Mad Max - Fury Road- I don't see how that would be invalid, either.
Exactly--it would just be another thing for the viewer to make sense of. Miller doesn't need to spell everything out. That's part of why I find the "Max doesn't do much" critique to be so toothless--it's a convenient sidestep to reading the film because it implies that he's completely passive and demonstrates little to no growth as a character. He's sidelined, but purposefully so. His adventure teaches him the value of staying put and facing problems (literally) head on. Miller forces him to stay put, initially by physically anchoring him in place, which I found to be a clever way of addressing that idea in addition to upping the sense of peril.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#170 Post by Ribs » Sun Apr 15, 2018 8:02 pm

Bitter court battle over Mad Max: Fury Road blocks two new movies
Three years after the fourth Mad Max movie was released to widespread acclaim - nominated for 10 Oscars including best picture and director and winning six - the director's production company, Kennedy Miller Mitchell, has claimed in a document filed in the Supreme Court of NSW that the studio acted in a "high-handed, insulting or reprehensible" manner.

And by "destroying" the relationship of trust by allegedly refusing to pay a bonus for delivering the movie under budget and breaching a co-financing agreement, they were unable to work together to make any further instalments.

[snip]

Afterwards, the Oscar-winning director said he had used the time since Fury Road's release to get a range of scripts ready to shoot. "There are a lot of options," he said. "I'm not sitting around grinding my teeth."

On whether fans would ever get to see the next two Mad Max movies, Miller said he honestly did not know. "They're there but that's all I can say," he said. "That's in the future."

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#171 Post by moreorless » Fri Apr 27, 2018 1:41 pm

Hopefully the development hell doesn't last too long this time. I suspect part of the reason Fury Road took so long to get made was because there was a lack of belief the franchise could still draw interest. I mean Fury Road didn't go insane at the cinema but has likely earnt a lot on home release and obviously has a lot of hype behind any sequel now.

As far as the nature of the script goes you are of course switching actor anyway which I think changes expectation but as mention I think having Max as the outsider and stand in for the audience works very well without relegating him from still IMHO being a co lead. Generally I tend to think this is one of the better written blockbusters in recent years, doesn't need to fall back onto complex plotting or surprising reveals just interesting interplay of characters. Indeed I think a lot of the reason why its able to be a "2 hour chase scene" is because the characters don't need exposition to function.

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Re: Mad Max: Fury Road (George Miller, 2015)

#172 Post by Lost Highway » Sun Apr 29, 2018 11:23 am

moreorless wrote:Hopefully the development hell doesn't last too long this time. I suspect part of the reason Fury Road took so long to get made was because there was a lack of belief the franchise could still draw interest. I mean Fury Road didn't go insane at the cinema but has likely earnt a lot on home release and obviously has a lot of hype behind any sequel now.

As far as the nature of the script goes you are of course switching actor anyway which I think changes expectation but as mention I think having Max as the outsider and stand in for the audience works very well without relegating him from still IMHO being a co lead. Generally I tend to think this is one of the better written blockbusters in recent years, doesn't need to fall back onto complex plotting or surprising reveals just interesting interplay of characters. Indeed I think a lot of the reason why its able to be a "2 hour chase scene" is because the characters don't need exposition to function.
The reason why Fury Road took so long was not out of a lack of interest. After Thunderdome (which btw was hugely successful in its day) George Miller got the opportunity to make movies in Hollywood. By the late 90s he had a couple of flops behind him and decided it was time for another Mad Max movie. All was in place by 2001 and then 9/11 happened, the US dollar collapsed and scuppered the budget. There were many other production problems which held up the movie till it got made.

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