This weekend, my mother-in-law, Mary, celebrated her 70th birthday. Big number, big day, big deal. On a day like that, you'd want to do something memorable, something awesome that'd really mark the occasion. My mother-in-law, being the delightful risk-taker that she is, opted to accept my wife's invitation to a screening of George Miller's just-released Mad Max: Fury Road.
I wasn't sure this was my wife's best idea ever! Fury Road is nasty, loud and more than a little violent, obviously not designed with the 60+ age demographic in mind. As such, I was very curious how Mary would respond to the film, and I asked her if she'd be willing to weigh in on it once she got home. She accepted.
So here it is: Mad Max: Fury Road, as reviewed by my mother-in-law on the occasion of her 70th birthday.
One thing I can say for the new Mad Max, Mad Max Fury Road, is that it didn’t put me to sleep. I usually find a few moments to nod off during movies now that I’m older, but Mad Max Fury Road kept me wide awake the whole time. And I like the new guy, Tom Hardy. Mel Gibson was always so grubby. I don’t like grubby.
The story was developed quickly. No nonsense early on, just jumped right in and held my attention. I thought the drums were a good vehicle for raising the tension. The band kept things lively. Elements were always being introduced throughout the journey, it never faltered. At the end, they realized their journey was back at the beginning, to go back and make life better for all the people being enslaved and suffering at the Citadel.
Old women were treated very respectfully in this film. I liked that too. They weren’t ridiculed at all, they played important and strong roles, nurturing yet powerful. I don’t understand what those men Men’s Rights Activists are saying about Mad Max; that’s ridiculous. They should be proud at the way men were portrayed in this film. Max acted like a true man, he showed courage and strength. He held men’s standards very well, came in there like a true man and helped those in need. And they’re angry about the theme of men destroying the world and starting wars compared to women nurturing and rebuilding it, but that’s just a reality.
But women still need men, no matter what the feminists say. Max helped Furiosa; he saved her life more than once and he also had the idea to go back to the citadel, an idea of hope. I think they are co-heroes, she saved him and he saved her, they needed each other. I don’t understand those women who say they don’t need men.
But it was good to have a hero be a woman, and a woman who was handicapped, too. She obviously had a hard life, lost her arm, and she still had hope. She was a good person and was making a great sacrifice to save those women. She wanted to take them to the Green Place, even though it might get her killed. She was empathic. She realized those women needed to be saved.
Mad Max Fury Road wasn’t too gory, thank goodness. It could have been much worse, and I was expecting it to be. But it didn’t need to rely on meanness. No excessive torture, no sex, no endless fighting for nothing. I hate fighting for the sake of fighting. But it was about the characters and their journey, and the action around that.
Plus this film had a strong spiritual aspect, which I found meaningful. They referred to a higher power and had some praying. I liked it when the girl with red hair mentioned manifest destiny to Nux. Though I think the term manifest destiny was misused. I think what the character meant to say was that he was saved for a greater destiny by a higher power, to save them all which is what he ended up doing—Zap—got killed, but he was ready to die for them.
I had a hard time identifying who the little girl was who kept appearing to Max, couldn’t understand why she was part of the plot, but then I realized she was there to give him guidance. Again, a spiritual element to the story that gave it more depth.
I would go back and watch Mad Max Fury Road again. Not something I say very often about most modern films.
George Miller, take a bow. Fury Road has landed you firmly on my mother-in-law's good side.
Big shout-out to Imperator Mary for taking the time to do this. I think she nailed it, how 'bout you guys?