Right now I’m avoiding a family gathering much like I did in my teenage years, and taking some time to contemplate the film I saw on Sunday. I wasn’t really sure if I should go and see Mad Max, because I haven’t seen any of the previous films and I thought that a lot of it might be lost on me or I might not be able to enjoy it as much however I’d heard so many good reviews of the movie that I felt like I needed to go and see it. It did not disappoint, so have a look at the trailer if you’ve not already seen it and then please enjoy my five favourite things about this film below, no spoilers!
NUMBER 5: Traditional Special Effects
I read an interview with the supervising stunt co-ordinator for the film, Guy Norris, where it was said that audiences are getting tired of computer animated special effects sequences. It’s at a point where we can tell and it feels too fake so they decided to use sophisticated technology to do stunts that could not possibly have been done before! At some point they specially designed the front of a truck to slide back and reduce g-force to a point where they could crash it into another huge truck and the driver would come out COMPLETELY UNHARMED. Obviously there are a lot of safety measures in modern stunt works, and that only makes this more incredible to be honest. There are a lot of explosions in this film and as far as I can see online, nobody was injured and that must take an immense amount of planning. I can’t even begin to image the logistics involved, but the end result is incredible.
NUMBER 4: Interesting Mysticism!
During the film I had loads of questions that presumably could have been answered by watching the three previous films, but come on man some of those films were out before I was. Give me some time. Either way I was really interested in the way that religion and power were handled in the film. The dystopian future in the film is run by a warlord operating on some kind of Norse mythology meets Pimp My Ride deal, where pride in death during battle would open the gates to Valhalla and you would ascend “shiny and chrome.” I thought the use of chrome to represent purity was really interesting, so I did a little bit of research about teeth in Norse mythology to find out what significance shiny teeth or mouths might have. My quick search revealed Heimdallr, who had gold teeth and was described as “the whitest of the gods” and apparently it the originator of social classes in humanity. The shiny teeth and pale skin is definitely echoed in the appearances of the War boys but then again they also do just look like skulls. I live, I die, I live again. Is it Freudian? Someone should write an essay on these guys, not me though.
NUMBER 3: Sick Cinematography
There is some interesting subversion of traditional action movie shots in this film, particularly where representation of women is concerned. Particularly there is one shot of “the wives” dousing themselves with water which could have been taken as a pan up from their feet, showing their figures was instead a static shot, with no movement in the camera lustily panning up their bodies. In fact, after this there is a panning shot focusing on Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s pregnant belly, which is the closest thing to a sexual shot in the entire film. The general composition of shots in the film itself is brilliant. The shot of the vehicle troupe driving into the storm and a later shot of Furiosa in the desert are particularly noteworthy. I also really enjoyed the use of lighting behind “the wives” to make them look especially angelic, especially when they were being very capable (this is funny because one of the character’s names is Capable). I feel like this was a really nice touch to the filmmaking.
NUMBER 2: FURIOSA
So, all of the other members of the War boys are boys. Lads and that. Maybe I’m jumping to conclusions here but you do not see any other female warriors in the background, meaning Furiosa must have been kick ass from the start, right? To come into a high position of power in this highly patriarchal society she must have had some amazing abilities. We see her do so many incredible things throughout the film, but my favourite moments are the moments of tenderness where she throws her self made arm to the ground or where she places her trust in Max. I really like characters like Furiosa, people who would have been sweet and gentle were it not for their hard lives, but they remain sympathetic at their core. I read a fan theory that Furiosa was meant to be one of “the wives”, and mutilated her arm to become imperfect and save herself from that fate. I really want to know more about her, how she met “the wives” and how she managed to rise to the most trusted position in a society that should have cast her aside.
NUMBER 1: Two Whole Hours of Tense Action Thrills!
Sometimes I love action movies, sometimes I hate them. I hate them when everything feels safe and predictable, I hate them when I know someone isn’t dead or someone is going to come back. I hate it when the characters are predictable. For the character of “the wives” the screenwriters liaised with a counsellor for abused women, so the reactions of the characters are varied and realistic and they grow and change throughout the movie. This film surprised me in places, characters made choices that I didn’t see coming from 100 miles away that drove the tension up through the roof! I spent the entire two hours in the cinema clutching my coat and hoping and praying for them all to come out safe. I was sat with two of my favourite folk and we all got really into it, including one point when all three of us sat right up in our seats and made a noise similar to someone getting hit in the groin with a football.
There’s five great reasons to go and see this movie right now! Right at this moment! Out of your chair baby, go see it! Or, stick around until tomorrow when I’ll write about a cute day out I had in Chester. Your choice.