“Mad Max: Fury Road”

In this George Miller film, the characters’ brains have morphed from gray matter to black matter. To survive is the single instinct left. The film could be derided as “Chains, Cranes and High-Octane-Thrown-Together-War-Mobiles”, but this dystopian mayhem has some creative must sees. The Pole-Cat Gang is impressive in their leaps and sways, and the re-purposed junk is as imaginative being jerry-rigged as it is falling apart. The standard shoe-fitting Brannock device as gas pedal, the tea strainer nose guard, the skull steering wheel and groin-protector codpiece, and baby-doll-head necklace are cooler than the two-headed lizard.Throw in a car door warrior’s shield, and a souped-up guitar spewing sperm-like fire, and you can see how anger can fuel innovation.

Running from the living and the dead, Mad Max (Tom Hardy) believes as he says:”Hope is a mistake. If you can’t fix what is broken, you will go insane”. Like Hannibal Lector of “Silence of The Lambs “fame, Max is harnessed with a steel grill mask. He eats things. As he teams up with Furiosa (Charlize Theron),she looks at him and says,”You want that thing off your face?” Theron is the head-shaven ,rogue driver of War Rig. Her job was to transport fuel, but now she has joined the women, or Vuvalini (one knows that one will transpose a few letters here) and deliver her female cargo to safety. Five beautiful breeders are attempting freedom. And all the women are keen on keeping their babies from becoming warlords.

The setting is absent of anything green. Water~known as Aqua-Cola~is used by the powerful Immortan Joe at whim. His little boys are all coated in whitewash once the breeders deliver. Mother-milking contraptions add to the craziness. Everything is a souped-up machine. He engineers cranks that turn waterfalls on and off. He barks nonsense to his subjects:”Don’t become addicted to water or you will resent its absence.” Sandblasted tornadoes of dust cover everything.

I was bored with the reddish canyons and the driving to and from salt flats a few times in this action movie. I longed for the green place,too. I thought the change to blue night scenes was ingenious,and I did like the huge image of Mad Max’s head in its beetle-like emergence from a sand hill.

Furiosa is to break every female stereotype of the fifties. This gal gives “grease-paint” a new meaning,and she is great at compass direction and vehicle mechanics,exhorting lines like,”I think it is the fuel pod.” With three war parties following her, she kicks and shoots, once using Max’s shoulder as a cushion as she tells him not to breathe.

I will say loudly that the dialogue is horrendous. “She is hurt.She is hurt real bad.” may be the worst. “By the way,my name is Max,” a close second. One longs for the plains of silence. The film’s nomenclature hints at comedy:my “neck mates”, Larry and Barry;”guzzaline” for gasoline,”bullet farmers”; and “booty” for the round-rumpled breeders.

With salutations to Tolkien’s orcs and Rome’s Coliseum crowds,Miller’s sequel is not “perfect in every way”, but it is his baby, just not my “cup of tea”.

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Christine Muller

Carrying a torch for film is what I have done for over forty years, thus the flambleau flamed when I was urged to start a blog. Saving suitcase loads of ticket stubs was no longer relevent so I had to change the game. Film has been important for me in the classroom and a respite for me outside of it. No other art form seems to edge the frayed seams of life as neatly as when a film is done well. I am happy that over one-hundred countries have citizens viewing my thoughts on Word Press, and a few leaving their own with me. Over eight- hundred comments to date, and over two-hundred films reviewed.

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