Mad Max: The Wasteland

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dascoyne

Master Member
This conversation has just illuminated for me a pretty big problem with Fury Road that I never noticed before:
Narrative viewpoint.
The film begins from Max's viewpoint (it even opens with him saying "My name is Max"), then, after his confrontation with Furiosa, it shifts to her perspective.
I wonder if this problem may be the root of the reason why some fans dislike this film, whether they can identify the problem or not (I only just realized it myself).
What would this film look like if it had been told entirely from Max's perspective? Or Furiosa's? Or even the wives (the film even seems to take their viewpoint at times).
I like the idea of the stories of Mad Max being legends, like stories told around a campfire, but that narrative doesn't work if you open the movie with actual narration from Max himself.
George should have picked a single perspective and stuck with it (I'd prefer to see the wives' perspective, personally).
I wonder if fans like Wook would like this film better if it was told entirely from the perspective of the wives.
Then Furiosa wouldn't be the star of the movie, she'd just be fighting alongside Max.
I always thought the shifting perspective between films was a good way to explain continuity errors. You reminded me how off-putting Max's voiceover in the trailer was. This communicated that this was a different Max from the previous films and maybe that was the intent. I prefer Mel's enigmatic Max above Hardy's pensive, brooding Max.
 

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Grey

Sr Member
Starting with The Road Warrior, George Miller intended Max to be a character drifting into someone else's narrative. He's never really the principal character of the plot. He's a tourist, much like Toshiro Mufune was in Yojimbo. This way Max also can remain relatively static figure throughout the franchise.

And I really don't want to see Max as a central character going through some existential arc beyond the moral commitments he seems to struggle with in each movie. I like Max as a grunting force of nature.

So it didn't bother me that Fury Road was more about Furiosa than about Max. With the exception of the first movie, none of the previous films, were about him either - the only difference is that Furiosa was the first central protagonist that wasn't pathetic.
You nailed it. Mad Max stopped being Max's story after the first movie, imo. To take this in a completely different direction, it highlights whats wrong with all of the Riddick sequels. Pitch Black wasen't a movie about Riddick, it was a story that Riddick was a part of. Every movie since they've made it about him and it just doesn't work.

For the record, it really wasen't about Furiosa either.
 

The Wook

Master Member
I don't agree but I understand where you're coming from.

But in all the films, even in the first MM film, Max was the catalyst for the events in the story and in the later films, the films proceed because of his involvement. I think FR is no different and makes a statement to the frailty of his character in that, by the end of the film, when the there is a potential of settling down and making something decent in an indecent world, he turns his back to it. He is too ingrained in that chaotic world; it's what defines him, ironically. For him to join Furiosa at that point, he would lose what makes him Max, which is a really interesting thing to think about because that's been his entire goal as a character: to find that peace as a man again, but to have it, he would lose his identity. And, sadly for him, that's all he's clung to since the first film. The idea of what makes him him and, hinted and implied at in FR, even he's not sure anymore.
This conversation has just illuminated for me a pretty big problem with Fury Road that I never noticed before:
Narrative viewpoint.
The film begins from Max's viewpoint (it even opens with him saying "My name is Max"), then, after his confrontation with Furiosa, it shifts to her perspective.
I wonder if this problem may be the root of the reason why some fans dislike this film, whether they can identify the problem or not (I only just realized it myself).
What would this film look like if it had been told entirely from Max's perspective? Or Furiosa's? Or even the wives (the film even seems to take their viewpoint at times).
I like the idea of the stories of Mad Max being legends, like stories told around a campfire, but that narrative doesn't work if you open the movie with actual narration from Max himself.
George should have picked a single perspective and stuck with it (I'd prefer to see the wives' perspective, personally).
I wonder if fans like Wook would like this film better if it was told entirely from the perspective of the wives.
Then Furiosa wouldn't be the star of the movie, she'd just be fighting alongside Max.
I can relate to your sentiment.

I would likely have been bothered more if Mel was still playing Max.

In my mind I was still trying to weigh Hardy's interpretation. In the meanwhile I was getting engaged with the other strong characters of the film. Yeah, part of me wouldn't accept that Furiosa could credibly engage the real Max at hand to hand but at least they made it clear she wasn't a physical match. And her performance was so recklessly nihilistic I liked watching her character. I could see her toe to toe with this Max. If it was Mel Gibson I might have felt differently.

I thought Thunderdome was much worse. The other characters were either weak or annoying or both. Tina Turner was just playing herself. Master-Blaster was a cool as a concept but the writing and performances were meh. And, worst of all, those stupid desert kids. God, I hated that movie. I just wanted Max to kill them all and drive away. On the other hand the characters in Fury Road were exceptionally written and performed. I came into Fury Road afraid of getting another Thunderdome.

The film I want most of all (which I know I'll never get) would just be the story of Max between Mad Max and The Road Warrior where it's just him (Ideally played by Mel Gibson digitally de-aged(?), the cattle dog and his V8 Interceptor having adventures in the wasteland.
I don't care whose perspective the story is told from, so long as Max is featured heavily in the film and is totally badass. Not necessarily virtuous, but definitely not a villain. A character who's very important, if not central to the story. That was Mel Gibson's Mad Max, in every film.

But the people who created FR made a conscious decision to relegate Max to the sidelines, looking clueless and vacuous, to make room for someone else to be that cool character, and cast Charlize Theron for the part. It was part of this ridiculous recent trend of rampant Hollywood liberalism writing female parts to be the baddest good "guy" (Furiosa, Rey, Jyn) in their respective movies. Put bluntly in a term I coined on this site a couple years ago...Girl Power Run Amok!

As a Mad Max movie, Fury Road sucked.

The Wook
 

joberg

Master Member
Wook, I can understand where you coming from (the strong female character is not new...going on for more than 30 years now;))... what I liked about FR is that MM has to deal with something/someone he hasn't dealt with: i.e. the fact that someone cares about the others and not just themselves in this survival game.
If Furiosa was exactly like Max, she would've acted like him also...which wasn't the case. The "taking care of # 1" story can last so long before starting to be repetitive: Max encounters problems, Max eliminate problems, Max continues walking toward the sunset:behave You gotta have more than that!
 

annanake

Sr Member
Max did almost all the heavy lifting . he killed two of the three boss's Joe took team work , he did the majority of the fighting and pole flopping and car surfing and fuel breathing and as usual told them there plan was stupid and told them what to do to win .
Pretty much the same as the last two movies he just talked less and they were women instead of kids and a dwarf !
Max has been in someone else's story the last three flicks . its been the same story he only gets involved because he has to. Then at some point he can leave or (even try to leave) with his loot and then sees there doing something stupid and helps them out against his better judgment then gets screwed for his trouble . or walks away ??? Or did he ?

there are two other towns who lost there leaders as well , maybe he was going to plunder gas town while it was in leaderless chaos .
That's what the max I know wants .
V8 N Petrol to runner by .
They even sucked him back into the MFP with the love of the Interceptor !
 

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The Wook

Master Member
Wook, I can understand where you coming from (the strong female character is not new...going on for more than 30 years now;))
It's become absurd. And to make these women warriors shine even brighter, the men are left standing around helpless and hapless.

...what I liked about FR is that MM has to deal with something/someone he hasn't dealt with: i.e. the fact that someone cares about the others and not just themselves in this survival game. If Furiosa was exactly like Max, she would've acted like him also...which wasn't the case. The "taking care of # 1" story can last so long before starting to be repetitive: Max encounters problems, Max eliminate problems, Max continues walking toward the sunset:behave You gotta have more than that!
No ya don't.

The Wook
 

PoopaPapaPalps

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
It's become absurd. And to make these women warriors shine even brighter, the men are left standing around helpless and hapless.
I completely sympathize with your sentiment because I notice this, too, and it is because of this naive and misguided push from the political far-left. I do, however, think that FR is exempted from this scenario where you compare her to the female leads in the new Star Wars films because, as opposed to the latter two characters (Jyn/Rey), who are clearly blatant token characters, Furiosa was in the works with FR since day one, and the film was worked on over a decade on and off and she was a constant of it. I know you don't agree but I think it's an example of how to do it in a crazy time like now, where a character is cool regardless of what they are, and it shows in the film: she is directly a part of it. She works in tandem with Max in the film and she only progresses as she does because of his direct involvement. She isn't the end all, sole-savior, "omg-you're-the-one" type, who's brought in for no just cause and shoved down peoples' throats. You're right that the film is her story and that Max is just a figure wandering in it, though...

...Just as the last three movies were.;)
 

annanake

Sr Member
Furiosa what is best in life ?
To see the open steps of the green place ,feel the wasted water on your breast and use it to wash the dust out of your windblown hair !

NO !

Max what is best in life ?

To crush your gas pedal to the floor, steal your enemy's petrol if they dare drive before you and hear the lamentation of there engines.

Yes .this is good !
 

Monkey67

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Max did almost all the heavy lifting . he killed two of the three boss's Joe took team work !
what 2 guys were those? In My count I have him killing a wounded / blind bullet farmer with land mine.

Charlize killed joe
xmen beast kid killed the roid rage son
foot solider or joe killed the fatty guy with no nose since max used him as a shield

Am I missing anyone?

oh I wanted the kids at the end to use the bouncer thing the F'd up little midget was in to sling shot his ass across the desert. I thought that would have been so damn funny.
 

annanake

Sr Member
what 2 guys were those? In My count I have a
wounded / blind bullet farmer with land mine.

Charlize killed joe
xmen beast kid killed the roid rage son
foot solider or joe killed the fatty guy with no nose since max used him as a shield

Am I missing anyone?

oh I wanted the kids at the end to use the bouncer thing the F'd up little midget was in to sling shot his ass across the desert. I thought that would have been so damn funny.
using the people eater as a shield is what i meant max took over his vehicle and used the guy as he needed till he got him killed , could have done him him self any time.

My point being Max was NOT regulated to the sidelines and clueless ! Take Max out of the story ?

Do the girls make it ?

Do they even get out of the first encounter with the dirt bike crew ?

But hey no flinging the dwarf !
Its not fair to the other war pups who can't afford there own crippled dwarf to launch .

Not saying movies don't have messages and agendas to push though.
Just don't think this one ruined max in anyway !
 

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robstyle

Master Member
With Fury Road it seems everyone here is overlooking the fact why it ended up with a secondary character as the lead, Mad Mel was going to come back to the role some years ago for an absurd amount of money (I seem to recall the number being $25 million) and only work for eight days. This was long before those WETA cars were made. The secondary role wasnt written as a female. Also overlooked in this mess is the mass amount of reshoots adding more Hardy Max to Fury Road. If anyone else here had seen the early cut of the film im certain they would chime in and tell you, it wasnt in any way shape or form a Mad Max movie, it was all Furiosa. Its been mentioned in this thread prior the film stumbles on whom the lead is. If this were to be that Mad Mel movie, it wasnt his story but the secondary character who is the lead. In the end result of Fury Road, the reshoots seemed to have confused people as the title is Mad Max Fury Road, not just Fury Road.

Now, imagine if Mad Mel had come back as an aged Max, in a desparate attempt to steal supplies from an encampment he is captured. He then meets up with someone who recalls stories of a lone man in the wasteland.... Max's story then confirms lore and legend and we are free to allow that secondary character to take over the majority of the film as the escape and chases happen. Eight days of filming would equal about eight minutes of footage on screen for one character.
Instead of the lore and legend happening between characters, its force fed to us in a series of bizarre and out of place flashbacks and visions in Hardy Max's own mind. That means he is Max and not someones version of a wasteland story we are being told.

Ive said it before, take the Mad Max out of the title and its a decent movie, its just not a Mad Max movie, and doesnt seem as if was intended to be from the start about 20 years ago.
 

Tyderium

Active Member
For all the hate Beyond Thunderdome gets, it was the perfect wrap up of that series for me. I know I'm in the minority and maybe part of it is the nostalgia of having seen it as a kid, but I liked it then and I like it now.

Saving the kids was Max's redemption and having been stripped of everything and literally walking off into the twilight seemed the perfect ending while his story is passed into folklore through the tales of Savannah Nix.

Mel Gibson will always be Max to me but I also loved Fury Road and Hardy's take. The filming style was different, the saturated colour, everything feeling hyper realistic... it sort of felt like Mad Max but a different take in a slightly different universe. Which, I guess, is exactly what it was intended to be.
 

Mr Webber

Master Member
Your all overthinking it, Mad Max is cars and attitude.
Exhibit A.

cowcar.jpg

Miller is obsessed with BoB, the next film will be a Max origin story as to allow him to embrace, destroy and rebuild it all over again, True.
 

The Wook

Master Member
Your all overthinking it, Mad Max is cars and attitude.
FTFY: "Mad Max is cars and attitude and Mad Max."

But instead, Mad Max Fury Road gave us cars and attitude and Mad Charlize (and her sorority of supermodel women warriors).

Max meandered the sidelines of the story, reduced to little more than a spaced-out, impotent bystander. And that's when he wasn't reduced to a helpless, hapless victim.

The Wook
 

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mofo77

Well-Known Member
great info robstyle.didn't know those details bout earlier version of mm4.
so many vague stories have come out regarding the fury road production since it's inception in the late 90's early 00's.
that does explain the fury road's structure a bit more but having said that i'm a big fan of the film.
the pace,lack of dialogue,production design etc spot on.
hardy finally comes into his own as max when he tells furiosa to stop running,turn around and head back to the citadel.
what a great plot twist to a car chase movie and just what Mad Max (and george miller would think of).
great discussion here guys and lets hope they make another film!
 

batguy

Sr Member
Does anyone want Max to get more interesting? More talkative? More "personal growth?"

Furiosa was a way to inject a more compelling protagonist into the storyline. She has more of a character arc. Putting the focus on her allowed Max to remain as simple as he used to be, without forcing the movie to remain that "simple" when it comes to human drama. I don't think that's a bad thing.
 

The Wook

Master Member
Does anyone want Max to get more interesting? More talkative? More "personal growth?"

Furiosa was a way to inject a more compelling protagonist into the storyline. She has more of a character arc. Putting the focus on her allowed Max to remain as simple as he used to be, without forcing the movie to remain that "simple" when it comes to human drama. I don't think that's a bad thing.
But don't you see? Mel Gibson's Mad Max was a very compelling character. The strong and silent type, whose reticence pulls you in, to try to find out what makes him tick. Invariably, we only learned the answer to that question by watching his actions.

You don't have to be "talkative" to be compelling. Was Clint Eastwood talkative in his classic westerns? No. Was he compelling? You better believe it!

Mad Max Fury Road suffered from two, very major problems:

1) Charlize Theron was the most compelling, virtuous badass in the film--rendering Max a mute, impotent bystander, by comparison. In each of the previous Mad Max films, Max was the most compelling, virtuous badass. (Of course he was! The movies are named after him, for crying out loud. lol)

2) Tom Hardy possesses none of Mel Gibson's intrigue or magnatism. He wasn't the strong and silent type. He was the dumb and silent type. A total drip. Mel Gibson's Max was a character we were dying to get to know--like the coolest, most dangerous-seeming upperclassman in school, who never said much, but drew you in with sheer magnatism. When I watched Tom Hardy's Max, as he stood around in the shadows of Charlize Theron's character, I didn't give a damn what he was thinking. What made him--the guy the movie is named after--tick? I really didn't give AF.

The Wook
 
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Mr Webber

Master Member
Miller and Co would have been up against an Ayres Rock and a hard place going forward with no Mel Gibson, how can you possibly replace him?
Gently is how.

They were lucky enough to have such a great script and a Goddess actress with all the chops to soften the blow. Hardy does just enough to not offend the die hard`s and excite the new audience. Miller`s MMIQ is at its peak here which is incredible considering how low his MMIQ was during the filming of Thunderdome.

Remember that last MM movie with an international star lead female actress. Hmmm.
 

The Wook

Master Member
Miller and Co would have been up against an Ayres Rock and a hard place going forward with no Mel Gibson, how can you possibly replace him?
Gently is how.

They were lucky enough to have such a great script and a Goddess actress with all the chops to soften the blow. Hardy does just enough to not offend the die hard`s and excite the new audience. Miller`s MMIQ is at its peak here which is incredible considering how low his MMIQ was during the filming of Thunderdome.

Remember that last MM movie with an international star lead female actress. Hmmm.
Well, I disagree with you entirely, mate. But I "Liked" your post, nevertheless, because of your use of the term, "MMIQ". lol

The Wook

ps~Thunderdome is obviously a big drop off from MM and RW. But I still liked it. I mean, it had Mel, afterall. And TBH, Savannah's legs were worth the price of admission alone. I would much rather watch MMBT than MMFR, any day of the week.
 

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