Mad Max: Fury Road: Deconstructing the Hype

Posted by Leah on 4/10/2016 1:04:49 PM

  Article Originally Published on      

        I originally covered the topic of my dislike of Mad Max: Fury Road in an earlier article, which you can find here. Mad Max: Fury Road is the last film I discussed in that article.        
         It’s no secret by now that I absolutely hated
Mad Max: Fury Road. I had originally come to the conclusion that I didn’t need to write anything about it since everyone else already had, and for some reason everything they wrote was positive. I figured I’d leave well enough alone and that I wouldn’t bother wasting any more time on it than I already had watching it.

        And then the unthinkable happened.
Mad Max: Fury Road was not only nominated for 10 Oscars, but it took home 6 of them! I was floored! How could this be? This movie was terrible, and boring, and pointless, and had no plot; how could it possibly win an award for anything, (other than a Razzie of course)? I decided after watching the Oscars and becoming outraged that I apparently did need to write something about the film, at least so that I could explain why I’m apparently the only person on the face of the Earth who hated it. But I also wanted to examine and attempt to figure out why everyone else loved it so much.
         I had hoped to interview several people in order to figure out what I was missing here, but only one person took me up on my offer to not argue and to simply listen to why they loved the film. I also attempted to create a Twitter poll to see how much in the minority I actually am in hating it, but only a single person responded. Apparently this was going to be a little tougher than I’d hoped.
         In interviewing the single person, Wally, I asked him what it was about the film that he loved so much. He told me that he absolutely loved all of the action sequences. He thought they were some of the most well-orchestrated action sequences on film, and that director George Miller had pulled them all off beautifully.
         “But,” I said, “Is that the only thing you liked about it? That can’t be the only reason, right?” He replied that he also really liked the way director Miller used the background scenery to change the whole mood of the film from scene to scene, such as when they reach the swamps and the whole film darkens while they’re there, or when everyone drives into the dust storm. He said that that kind of imagery really added to the emotion of it all.
         “Ok,” I said, “But you can’t have liked everything about it, right?” To this he responded that no, he didn’t like everything about the film. He thought that all of the scenes around the citadel felt cheesy and forced, and that he never really bought into the plot as a whole. “What plot?!?” I asked. Wally said the plot that everything around is desert, and yet the bad guy magically controls all of the water in the region, and thusly all of the people in the region. He thought there was no realism there, and I agree whole-heartedly with that.
         In closing Wally told me about an article on a website that explains exactly how George Miller filmed the movie to make it more visually appealing and to draw people in. As soon as I hung up the phone I visited the site to read the article.
         It is my belief that Wally told me about the article in hopes of making me see why
Mad Max: Fury Road is a visual masterpiece and all around great film. After reading the article I instead understood why exactly it’s so terrible.
         According to in their article titled
The Editing of MAD MAX: Fury Road, “One of the many reasons MAD MAX: FURY ROAD is so successful as an action film is the editing style. By using “Eye Trace” and “Crosshair Framing” techniques during the shooting, the editor could keep the important visual information vital in one spot…the Center of the Frame. Because almost every shot was center framed, comprehending the action requires no hunting of each new shot for the point of interest. The viewer doesn’t need 3 or 4 frames to figure out where to look. It’s like watching an old hand-drawn flip book whiz by. The focus is always in the same spot!”
        After reading that a light bulb went off in my head.
Mad Max: Fury Road is a film shot in a style that accentuates just how lazy people have become. I mean, to be watching a film with so much action, but you never have to move your eyes around to see anything of interest, that’s the epitome of laziness in my view. But, that aside, what that filming technique does is ensure that there’s nothing of any interest going on anywhere else on screen. For me looking around the screen at the different sceneries and trying to absorb every little bit of a film is part of what makes watching movies so pleasurable. Just think of how many times you’ve watched a favorite film and been delighted to pick up on something, or see something that you missed the first or second time around.   Mad Max: Fury Road is shot in a manner that robs people of that pleasure.
        Another thing that I found in the article was that straight through filming there was no script. For 10 years George Miller drew a 3500 frame storyboard, in essence a wordless comic book, for the “story” in the film. When the studio, before shooting began, asked Miller for the script he said that he’d written one, it was garbage so he got rid of it, but yet here’s 3500 storyboards for ya! That was the final nail in the
Mad Max: Fury Road coffin for me. Knowing that Miller had worked on this film for 10 years, but yet shot the whole thing without a script, cements in my mind once and for all what a truly awful piece of junk this film really is.

               I know, at this point, that I’ll never convince the people who love the film that it’s terrible and they’re nuts for loving it so, and that’s fine.  What does upset me is that I’ll never be able to get the two hours I wasted on this film back. So if you loved the film, great! But can we PLEASE stop talking about it now?