Meg O’Death reviews Mad Max

I’m a fan of Mad Max movies. Big time. Their wildly imagined post-apocalyptic world, plus the action, the chases, and of course Max himself — the knight-errant/lone-hero-wandering-the-wasteland — add up to an iconic film series. My novel China Lake features an argument that references The Road Warrior. It’s Evan Delaney’s favorite movie (surpassing even Armageddon). So yeah, I lined up to see the newest film, Mad Max: Fury Road, the day it opened.

And I loved it. It’s tense and thrilling. Director George Miller’s frenetic aesthetic — violent, adrenaline-pumping, literally high octane — is on glorious display. Tom Hardy is excellent as Max. And Charlize Theron is a fantastic surprise as Furiosa, a scarred, resilient new hero. She risks everything to free a group of women from sex slavery, and ends up enlisting Max as her ally. Yes: the face of Dior kicks ass.

After the credits, the Husband and I stumbled from the theater, dazed. He said it was as intense as Whiplash. I said that to calm down we needed to watch a video of puppies sleeping.

I told everybody how much I loved it. I tweeted my enthusiasm. I texted my son, words like ungodly intense and unbelievably good. I stopped texting when I realized I was going to end up on Youtube, being shown falling into a fountain. I babbled to the Husband about the script and the midpoint turn in the plot, about archetype and myth and symbols of life fighting free of a twisted culture of death.

The movie rang my bell.

Then a friend who’s a parent asked if teens could handle it.

I said it would be fine for a 16-year-old. The violence is so over the top that it’s cartoonish. It might not be okay for a 14-year-old — while there aren’t any sex scenes, there’s some disturbing imagery.

The Husband said: some disturbing imagery? Yeah. Chastity belts, sex slaves, women hooked to milking machines… our friend might end up explaining the birds, bees and S & M. However, the scene with parched skimpily clad ladies sucking on water hoses has a wet T shirt vibe… a 16-year-old boy would love it.

Ahem.

The Husband agreed: the story is gripping. But the movie’s a hard R, nowhere close to PG-13.

Then he noted that I saw a different movie than he did. He saw sex slavery; I saw the 1 hour plot turn. He saw wet T shirts; I saw character development.

Reminding me: sometimes writers get so immersed in the story, we don’t see the audience.

And Mad Max: Fury Road is Evan Delaney’s new favorite movie. Count on it.

7 responses to “Meg O’Death reviews Mad Max

  1. Great review. I’m likely to side with Paul, but don’t know if I’ll see it. So MUCH destruction!

  2. Such a pity he’s getting old at the same rate I am.

  3. I was a big fan of the originals back in the day, so definitely want to see this one. I’m just wondering, though, would roller-derby queen, Meg O’Death, give Furiosa a run for her money in Max’s dystopian future?

    • Roller skate wheels would get stuck in the sand. Meg O’Death would kick off her skates and climb aboard Furiosa’s war rig.

  4. I’ve been looking forward to this movie coming out. Great review. But your line about getting so immersed in story that you don’t see the audience caught my attention as I hadn’t thought of it that way before. And that sentence made this more than just a movie review. Then of course, the last line about Evan Delaney is hopeful (as in anxiously waiting for the next one but not wanting to nag…).

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