Mad Max Review: 5 Surprising Things That Survived The Apocalypse

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In “Mad Max: Fury Road,” 5 bizarre things were able to survive this latest apocalypse. Tina Turner didn’t. But Clairol did. Find Jason Dias’ borderline-vicious Mad Max review here.

aNewDomain — A few really unexpected people, places and things survived the Pockylipse in “Mad Max: Fury Road.” 

1. Racism

Doesn’t look like many people who weren’t white made it. In “Mad Max: Fury Road,” Caucasians are evidently the cockroaches of this post-Apocalyptic setup.

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2. Clairol

Sorry, Riley Keough; that shade of red doesn’t exist in nature, and your roots are showing.

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2. Horny Mike from Counting Cars

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4. Monster trucks, devolved

Speaking of Horny Mike, one of the Wasteland Tribes tapped into his wettest dreams alright. Check out this honey …

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The weirdest thing to survive the nuclear holocaust in Mad Max: Fury Road? “Dune” author Frank Herbert.

The “Dune” series of books was an eco-fiction masterpiece, dragging together psychology, spirituality and ecological science to tell a messianic story of epic proportions. 

Over time, the series became increasingly trippy so that you had to chew alternately on mescaline and aspirin to keep up, but “Dune” was it, the thing — arguably the greatest work of science fiction ever committed to paper.

And outwardly, “Mad Max: Fury Road” and “Dune,” the awesome film based on the book series, don’t have much in common. 

In “Dune,” after all, there aren’t a bunch of painted-white sociopaths chasing around in inexplicably classic cars that look like your dog ate all your copies of Car and Driver from 1955 to today and barfed them up on the living room floor. 

To be fair, I’m in a snarky mood after watching this movie and truly, just the vehicles alone are worth the price of admission for this movie. But that’s besides the point.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” vs. “Dune”

The point is that the central element of the “Mad Max: Fury Road” story is exactly the same as it was in “Dune.” 

It was never all about Mad Max and it isn’t all about Paul Atreides either. Max is really little more than an observer, an impartial narrator in this movie. 

They should have called this movie “Impirator Furiosa,” only then you would have thought it was a “Harry Potter” movie. 

Or you’d have found out the lead player is a female-type human and you’d have refused to go see it. Either way.

The central element to the story also isn’t the bad guy. Neither the emperor nor Imortan Joe are irreplaceable. In Dune ultimately the bad guy is human nature. In Max, any dickhead could call the shots and the outcome could be basically the same.

No, the central element in both “Mad Max” and “Dune” is hydraulic despotism.

Growth in a system is limited by the least plentiful resource. Dune author Herbert wrote that down someplace, almost word for word. Characters, settings, stories and every other Dune element you can think of all revolve around that one idea. In Dune, it is the Spice, mélange. 

In Mad Max: Fury Road, it is literally water. And literally women.

The last five supermodels in the world

Somehow, Imortan Joe has gotten his hands on the last five supermodels in the world. “This one has all her teeth!” a normal human exclaims towards the end of the film. 

The goal is to reproduce with these supermodel-ish creatures. Not to create a super-race, just to create some plain, ordinary, post-apocalyptic healthy babies.

These women are healthy women. Kept secluded and given “the high life” of regular food, water, basic hygiene, they show the benefits of clean living. 

Well, maybe not regular food — look at the Clairol picture again. But close enough.

You’d almost think there are Republicans in Australia

Growth in a system is limited by the least plentiful resource. Water first. Water always. Joe has it and dribbles it out here and there to keep the population thirsty and compliant.

Don’t get addicted to it and grow weak, he warns at the start of things, as though he were talking about welfare checks and he had a conservative Republican base to pander to. Do they have Republicans in Australia?

Add that to the list of bizarre types that survived the Pockclipse in “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Now, this isn’t the first time Mad Max has gotten into the blender with Frank Herbert. Remember Thunderdome and what lay beyond it? Fury Road, if it derives from any of the Max films that came before, derives from that.

Too bad Tina Turner didn’t survive

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Tina Turner did not survive this version of the apocalypse. This section of the future is racist and segregated, too.

Also, remember how, in “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome,” the limiting resource was electricity? Master Blaster made it by burning methane from his pig farm. 

He also made Tina say what has got to be one of the greatest lines in movie history: “Master Blaster runs Bartertown.” 

Master made it into this new future, although he’s second fiddle to Joe. Maybe that’s because Blaster didn’t make it …

The real protagonist? Impirator Furiosa

Much has been written about the female presence in this film. That’s an upside. Guys who read magazines about cheese and cigars and watch what Jason Statham thinks you should watch might gush about what a great director George Miller is — and let them.

But I just appreciate two things Miller did here. One, he shot in full color. And two, he said he was going to do strong female roles in this Mad Max movie, and he followed through on that.

Unquestionably, the real protagonist of this tale is Wingardium Leviosa — I mean Impirator Furiosa. 

It’s Furiosa who has a big decision to make: to help the Wives escape. The choice carries irreversible and immediate consequences, and the stakes (life or death) hang on her. 

Everyone else in this movie is just a hanger-on, a plot device. Furiosa is Harry Potter in this movie.

And Max? He is her Ronald Weasley.

The bottom line

Anyway, what you really care about is this: Is “Mad Max: Fury Road” the spectacle we all expected?  Indeed it was. 

Other folks have covered that, too. Read them if you want. But see it for yourself. And do it in 3D – no excuse not to. The film makers didn’t abuse 3D too much, and it really is seamless. It’s the first 3D film I ever remember watching where I actually forgot I was wearing the dorky glasses.

While absorbing the spectacle, though, do remember to pour one out for George Herbert, the seeming inspiration and guiding light for everything you are going to love and hate about “Mad Max: Fury Road.”

Come on, do it. It’s not like the floor isn’t already sticky.

For aNewDomain, I’m Jason Dias reporting.

Image one: Gawker. All Rights Reserved

Image two: Marie Claire Australia. All Rights Reserved

Image three: @hornymike Twitter feed

Image four: YellMagazine. All Rights Reserved

Image five: The FlickCast: All Rights Reserved

About the author

Jason Dias

Jason Dias, PsyD is an existential psychotherapist who breathes words. He's a senior columnist at aNewDomain.

1 Comment

  • Everything in life doesnt contain a race component unless YOURE the “racist” (a word by the way which no longer has any value due to people like yourself!).