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Movie Night – 'Mad Max' is disturbing with no plot (May 27, 2015 issue)

“Mad Max: Fury Road” is destined to go down in history as one of the strangest movies ever made. The fourth movie in the Mad Max franchise, released thirty years after “Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome” in 1985, is not worth the wait.
The setting is a post-apocalyptic world where gas and water are scarce and highly-prized commodities. Civilization as we know it has broken down, the only law that rules is self-preservation, survival of the fittest. Tom Hardy plays Max, a loner wandering in the desert wasteland seeking solace after the death of his wife and child.
Max is alone only for a brief period before he is captured (rather easily, I might add) by the War Boys, a rogue army controlled by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne). Joe is a rather grotesque creature who, for an unknown reason, is bathed in white powder before donning a set of clear armor that covers his chest and back. He also wears a modified oxygen mask at all times. The War Boys are hairless and covered in the same white powder. Immortan Joe controls a place known as the Citadel, where water is meted out to the poor masses at the whim of the cult leader.
Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) drives a war rig, a modified version of tanker truck designed to carry gasoline on the runs made to Gas Town, for Immortan Joe. Furiosa soon mounts her war rig for a trip to Gas Town. Rather than continue with her mission to collect gas, Furiosa drives the war rig into the desert in an attempt to save the Five Wives, young, attractive women who were held captive by Immortan Joe solely for the purpose of breeding.
As if that couldn’t be topped, Max is being held captive by the War Boys and used as a “blood bag” for Nux (Nicholas Hoult). Nux apparently needs the blood of others to survive. Max’s blood is being slowly drained in an IV directly into the veins of Nux. When word arrives of Furiosa’s treachery Nux refuses to allow the others to have all the fun. He takes Max along with him so that he can continue to be Nux’s source of nourishment.
The next thing you need to know is that 90 percent of what you just read is not explained in the movie. This information was discovered by doing research after watching the movie. The movie itself explains very little about what is happening or why. Why do the War Boys cover themselves with white dust? Why does Immortan Joe need a respirator? The answers to almost all of the questions spawned by the movie are never provided. The lack of information is so striking that it must be intentional.
The sheer weirdness of the movie will either cause your stomach to churn or pique your interest almost immediately. There are too many oddities in the movie to discuss in the space allowed for a single movie review or, for that matter, that are appropriate content for a newspaper article. For instance, the War Boys spray paint their mouths with silver paint just before they believe they are charging toward their own death. Nux has two growths on his shoulder that he has named and with whom he holds conversations. Those are the tamest examples from the movie.
Another issue with the movie is that there is basically no plot to the movie. Furiosa wants to save the Five Wives and drives away only to be chased by the War Boys and other disturbed people that populate the desert that passes for Earth. That’s it. There’s no other story, no great revelations, no “aha” moment when you understand the purpose of the movie. The purpose is that there is no purpose. It’s a two-hour demolition derby on steroids. Possibly the only movie with less dialogue is “Castaway.”
“Mad Max: Fury Road” is demented in every sense of the word and provides little in the way of entertainment.
Grade: D-
Rated R for intense sequences of violence throughout and for disturbing images.