After hearing a lot about the most recent Mad Max movie, and the Mad Max “universe” in general, I have finally managed to watch all the Mad Max movies including Fury Road.
Hands down the best part of the franchise is that the movies are unapologetically incoherent with one another. Instead of one unifying dystopic concept, like the world is an ocean, or robots, or tyranny. Mad Max goes for the all-dressed approach, perennially asking: “DOES THIS MAKE YOU ANXIOUS??? HOW ABOUT THIS?!?!”.
The first Mad Max movie, a small locally released Australian film, plays on all the classic fears of the 1970s: economic decline, a breakdown of law and order, and sexual permissiveness. In Mad Max all of these social ills have been prompted by a worldwide energy crisis and subsequent global economic collapse. But considering fuel is scarce, everything is basically fine. People still drive everywhere, in muscle cars of course, across large swaths of rural Australia. There’s still a government, restaurants, normal clothing and suburban homes. It’s a nightmare scenario that seems kind of quaint by today’s standards; especially since the most shocking elements have since pretty much happened, and are not at all the most disturbing parts of the world today.
Somehow the dystopia that started as “police behaving unprofessionally” by Mad Max: Fury Road has escalated to “HUMANS ARE HARVESTED AS BLOOD BAGS.” It doesn’t make sense. But that’s ok. Go see Mad Max, if you haven’t already! It’s probably still playing somewhere.