Mad Max – not feminist, just dull

I’m not a men’s rights activist. As a matter of fact, I’m quite feminine and the proud owner of a vagina. I love strong female characters in movies – women who are smart, savvy, strong, great shooters, role models…

I loved “Hunger Games” (the movies and the books – yes, I read them!). I love the strong female in Scott Westerfeld’s “Uglies” series. I love “Divergent” and its sequels. I loved “The Help,” and I watched its graceful, strong, classy, rebellious female leads absolutely burn up the screen.

So it’s not that I’m some kind of anti-feminist, downtrodden little girl. I’m an Army vet. I’m a gun rights activist. I’m smart. I’m strong.

I just happen to define “feminism” in a somewhat different way. I do not believe the development of a strong female character has to come at the expense of a strong male one. I believe the two can coexist and complement one another.

Enter the new “Mad Max” movie. “Fury Road” is bad writing, lengthy, irritating action sequences seemingly without rhyme or reason, tedious visuals, and thinly veiled social justice rhetoric hiding behind a transparent veneer of “feminism.”

Let’s start with the title character, Max, who spends much of the first part of the movie as a human “blood bag” to a radiation-mottled, white (VERY WHITE) “war boy” who basically uses the universal donor to stay alive as he and his VERY WHITE compadres imprison and subjugate the populace by controlling the water supply.

The cult leader – another VERY WHITE fat man named Joe or something – has a bunch of really pretty, really small, really helpless waifs whom he enslaves for breeding purposes. Pool little ones are completely helpless.

Enter Charlize Theron – the one-armed kickass Imperator Furiosa and the hero of this so far dull, loud, tiresome flick. She helps the really pretty, small, helpless waifs escape EVIL VERY WHITE Joe. Joe and his “war boy” army chase Imperator Furiosa through the desert, with Max strapped to the front of one of the vehicles, so he can continue to be a “blood bag” for the radiation-mottled VERY WHITE “war boy.”

Blah… blah… blah…

Chase scene, action scene, dull visuals of ugly, deformed VERY WHITE men chasing Imperator Furiosa and her cargo. Chase scene culminates with a bunch of twisted metal. The reticent Max winds up with the helpless chicks and the one-armed Imperator Furiosa. At first he does little other than grunt and point guns at them. The helpless chicks squeal in terror, and one of them – because she’s oh-so obviously the victim of Stockholm Syndrome or something – actually wants to go back to EVIL VERY WHITE JOE, because he might forgive them… or something.

Blah… blah… blah… Chase scene. More twisted metal and fire.

Somehow the sick VERY WHITE “war boy” winds up as cargo in Furiosa’s rig after said chase scene, where he’s promptly rescued by a hot redhead whose kindness transforms him and allows his true nature to shine through, despite his EVIL WHITE MALE upbringing. See what happens when a man’s environment changes and he’s surrounded by the glorious goodness of women?

Blah… blah… blah… They reach Furiosa’s supposed birth place only to find that it’s nothing but a handful of women who all somehow look like displaced Chippewa.

After some weird vision Max convinces them that what they really need to do is go back and take the water and resources from EVIL VERY WHITE Joe.

Blah… blah… blah… yet another car chase. Blood. Twisted metal. Fire.

Some of the Chippewa women are killed. EVIL VERY WHITE Joe is killed. Furiosa is mortally injured. She begins to die from blood loss. But guess what! Max turns himself into a “blood bag” yet again to save Furiosa. Because really… that’s all he is in this movie – a foil for the heroic, one-armed warrior, who despite her disability manages to kick way more ass than anyone else, and only really needs the normally hot Tom Hardy’s Max to be a “blood bag” for her. Nothing more.

They get back to EVIL VERY WHITE Joe’s lair and toss his bloated VERY WHITE carcass out of a rig. Everyone rejoices. All the VERY WHITE boys look confused, because, after all, they were raised in that VERY WHITE male hegemony! A rather large platform raises the one-armed Furiosa and the remaining no-longer frail, no-longer helpless waif chicks clad in white gauze up to the heavens like some kind of Goddesses, while the water flows to all the great unwashed.

The End.

Seriously. This is what the critics are raving about?

Rob asked me as we walked out of the theater today what I thought. “This was the biggest, most tedious bunch of social justice crap I’ve ever had the displeasure of wasting more than two hours of my life on,” I replied.

I hadn’t read anything about this movie when we went. I was just hoping to see some fun action and excitement. Apparently, there was some stink recently, because some Neanderthal complained about this being a feminist propaganda flick disguised as a guy movie to dupe unsuspecting knuckle draggers into the theaters. Because WAAAAH! We were tricked! I found this out after we just got back from the theater, and I had to giggle a little at the poor, helpless nerd-cum-meninist’s labia being all chafed at having to listen to Charlize Theron actually bark orders at Mad Max.

But now, having sat through this dreary, tedious, thinly veiled social justice statement on the evils of VERY WHITE MEN, I have to tell you. It sucked.

Rob disagrees with me that it sucked more than “Chernobyl Diaries” – that abortion disguised as a horror flick that came out a few years ago. I think it did. At least I could make fun of the acting in Chernobyl or something. But this… I think I would have rather sat through a bout of diarrhea brought on by those Haribo sugar-free gummy bears they sell on Amazon. It sucked that bad.

It sucked so bad, that I spent the next hour ranting about how much it sucked as we did some grocery shopping!

Don’t not see “Mad Max: Fury Road” because it’s an attempt to spew feminist propaganda. It is, but I would have happily sat through it if the movie was actually interesting.

Don’t see it, because it’s a dreary, soporific, badly written mess of a movie that attempts to elevate the Goddess character by reducing a strong, inherently good male title role into nothing more than a grunting, unimportant secondary, while pushing a badly developed plot, dull characters, and a whole lot of gross post-apocalyptic deformities.

Save your money for something useful and more pleasant. Like a colonoscopy.

15 responses

  1. Gosh, Nicki, I wish you’d open up just a little and tell us how you really feel.😉

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    1. Hey, I didn’t use the F-bomb this time, right?😉

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  2. Well, Nicki, ,you just saved me $20 for a ticket and a small thingy of stale popcorn. I was going to go see this movie, because I thought ‘Thunderdome’ was trite and George Miller had lost his direction. It never lived up to the promise of ‘Road Warrior’ and Max just went wandering off into the Land of the Lost. Miller even forgot his own premise: that oil-based fuels could be replaced by methane (T-dome). Methane cometh from pig doots. Somehow, that just evaporated.
    Then I find out that this movie wasn’t filmed in Australia, where all the Max movies took place. it was filmed in Namibia. I guess Australia just isn’t alien enough any more.
    In regard to the women in all these action movies, I don’t think there is a man anywhere who can write about strong, independent, self-sufficient women, which is what feminists were in the 1960s and 1970s. All the benefits of so-called ‘women’s lib’ were handed over to the lesbians, because apparently being independent and self-sufficient means you are, even if you aren’t. (Don’t get me started on this. I have friends who are lesbians.) Katniss (Hunger Games) was invented by a woman writer, not a man.
    I am glad that you pointed out that those pasty-pale Warboys were actually albinos, but I’d have to assume by the timeframe of this movie, that albinism would be forgotten as a recessive genetic trait. Max should have known about it and it should have been mentioned somewhere. There must be a lot of holes in this story, and I hate holes in the story.
    I think I’ll wait until it comes out on a $10 DVD, and spend some time watch Sigourney Weaver use a flamethrower on giant alien cockroaches instead.
    I will also use your heads-up about feminism in re: this film as a warning to keep my female characters from crumbling and batting their eyelashes. 🙂

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    1. Good plan. I wouldn’t waste a penny on this movie. FTR, I don’t think the war boys were meant to be albinos. They struck me as more he products of radiation. Unnaturally pale with tumors and such.

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  3. “Imperator Furiosa” is just lazy Latin.

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  4. Nicki, couldn’t agree more. That’s as bad a piece of crap movie I’ve ever had the displeasure of seeing. Got about a third of the way through and walked out. I figured I wasted some money on a ticket but I didn’t have to waste the rest of my time on it.

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    1. I still don’t understand how so many people liked this crap!

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  5. So they decided to combine Tank Girl with Mad Max and then make a whole no story w/ no relevance to the original? Lovely😐

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  6. CavScoutCoastie

    Chiming in late here; just saw this over the holiday weekend. I’d have to disagree. I enjoyed this movie. Granted, I saw it at the $5 cinema near me. I am also a fan of the old Mad Max and Road Warrior movies (let’s not mention Thunderdome). I saw this as a decent summer popcorn movie. I don’t know if the writers intended any social justice commentary but if they did, it was pretty subtle. I was afraid of being hit with a Grrrl Power message all through the movie and that never happened. I saw a review on Breitbart where the writer said that the NY Times review that claimed this was an in your face feminist message was a case of the NY Times writer seeing what they wanted to see. I’d agree. There’s not much, if any, social justice commentary here.
    The movie is basically one long car chase through the desert with an occasional pause here and there. This is an action movie, nothing more. It’s a little over the top at points but that’s normal for this type of movie. I can see the point where the action gets a little repetitious by the end. My wife was a little fidgety by then but I enjoyed it. Maybe that says something about me. If you liked The Road Warrior, I think you’ll like this movie.
    One quibble I have: they tried to minimize CGI so some of the scenes were filmed at normal speed and then sped up. It makes the action sort of jerky at times. For the most part it’s not really an issue but during the opening sequence that shows how Max becomes a prisoner, I kept hearing Yackity Sax (the Benny Hill theme) in my head. On the other hand, supposedly they did this to avoid CGI and because the original movies in the late 70’s and early 80’s used this technique. It gives you a similar feel to watching those films. It’s kind of an homage to the original movies. I’ll credit them for the effort but the result is a bit uneven.
    One more thing: While it’s a violent movie, it’s not a gory movie. There’s no gratuitous blood and guts, no torture or any kind of crap like that. It’s more like watching 1980’s era professional wrestling. My wife said it was kind of like a comic book.
    Basically if you’re looking for a fun, brainless summer popcorn film, go see this movie. If you like the original Mad Max movies then definitely see this movie. Action, tricked out wrecks crashing in the desert, nuclear mutants; it’s got everything. Leave your brain at home and enjoy the spectacle.

    Nicki, sorry this is so long for a first comment. I meant to email to you directly first but I must be an ID10T because I couldn’t find an email link.

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    1. LOL – no worries. Long comments are welcome.

      I am actually a fan of the old movies, which is why I hated this one so much. There was barely any plot, and it was just dull. The SJW message – to both me and Rob – pounded you over the head, due to all the stuff I described.

      Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference. I was just annoyed by the end, and kept looking at my watched.

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    2. CavScoutCoastie

      Funny how we had different reactions. I was just hoping for an entertaining action film that captured the feel of the original movies without being hit over the head with social justice rhetoric and I felt like I definitely got my $5 worth.

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      1. It is odd that we had such different reactions. I was hoping for the same thing, but came out of it wanting to stab myself for spending the money. LOL

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  7. Actually, after all of this, I’m probably going to break down and go see it.😆 I now want to get direct data on the “message” and the movie.

    Hell! Maybe I’m one of the more qualified to render an opinion. I spent 6 month serving alongside the Karakals along the Jordanian border after 9/11, so I have some experience with women in combat roles.

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    1. LOL!!! Don’t say I didn’t warn ya!

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