A few questions

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Re: A few questions

Postby Turbofurball » Tue Feb 07, 2017 10:56 am

Regarding where The Wasteland can go, I'd suggest an alternative: a pseudo retelling of MM1. Max may start out as a full-on badass complete with his marbles, then through over-confidence he causes the death of Glory (or perhaps a whole group of innocent people) causing him to go on a killing rampage against the baddies. He gets his revenge, however at the end realises he has become a monster in the process, looses his marbles and heads out into the wasteland a broken man ... which is where we find him at the start of Fury Road. So it would be a story about Max rather than passing through others' lives.

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The final series was on a super-shoestring budget (and pretty much unwatchable, from what I've been told), so that wouldn't surprise me in the least
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Re: A few questions

Postby MWFV8 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:28 am

Taipan wrote:Having said all that I'm wondering if extending the Mad Max franchise with Tom Hardy was the right thing to do. By now we've all figured out I hope what the template for a Mad Max movie is. So at this point I'm really curious as to what The Wasteland will be about, if again it'll be Max letting someone die and then he runs away into the wasteland, which - if I'm correct it's a prequel to Fury Road - we pretty much know already what's going to happen.


We do, and right now that's a good thing. The only thing selling big right now is existing IP and if it comes with a degree of formula then it's even easier to sell. We know what's going to happen yet, as you say, we're still fascinated by what's to come. However, there's really two ways you can go with existing IP; you can take the hard road and strip it back to its routes, or you can take the easy road and build fantasy. The most dangerous kind of thinking is that which starts "wouldn't it be cool if..."

This is why I say everything after RoadWarrior is more or less fan-fiction. Beyond The Thunderdome is more like a rip-off of a Mad Max film than an actual Mad Max film. That was proof that you could even use the same actor and end up with a completely different protagonist. I'm starting to think that We Don't Need Another Hero was some sort of collective subconscious realisation by the sequel's creators.

The truth is that another artist's take on existing art is usually, while cheap and ultimately unfulfilling, pretty compelling. What blindsides us with Mad Max is the continuation of the director. We foolishly believe there's some sort of a deep lineage just because of Miller's involvement. And we'll fall for it again with The Wasteland. We'll welcome its familiarity, whoop at it's action, applaud its fantasy, ignore its shortcomings and then eventually feel a little cheated.

My guess is, if it is a prequel, we'll see the Interceptor featuring significantly. It will appear the same but behave differently. The actual movie car may even be faster and the footage more daring with bigger and better stunts. However, it will go too far, grow tiresome, and leave us thrilled rather than chilled.


Taipan wrote:Maybe Brendan McCarthy had the right idea for ending Max's journey in the Wasteland, after all it was him who said that he would be an old road warrior still in his leather, in his 50's and still not made his peace with the past. That's pretty pathological at that point if you think about it. I guess there's this much suspension of disbelief before the formula runs dry. Maybe it's why Miller wanted to shift the story to Furiosa, who - although her story is somewhat similar to Max's in that she seeks redemption, her character offers much more options for development, whereas Max is stuck in limbo.


I'm going to be blunt here. While I deeply admire McCarthy's talent, he's spent too long doodling fantasy vehicles and characters and not enough time figuring out Max. There is a part of Max seeking redemption but he cannot find it within an inhumane world. As long as that's kept alive, there is a rich tapestry of stories available, especially to a journey man. What Max is searching for is a world in which his redemption would have any value. His purpose is to serve and protect society, but that makes him worthless in a wasteland where civilisation has resorted to everyone serving and protecting themselves. He's a sherif with no jailhouse. He needs to protect everyone but lives with the knowledge that, in this new world, he cannot even protect the people closest to him. Max himself isn't mad, he is a sane man in a mad society, and thus appears crazy to those who've lost their bearings. That's a feeling, particularly in the current political climate, I'm sure many of us can relate to.

When the world has healed, Max can heal. Until then, he has to keep moving and remain alone. If there was no chance of him making peace with his past then he'd simply end his own existence.

This ultimately means that, within the scope of the first two films, Max portrays life affirming values.

This is continued in Beyond The Thunderdome where Max is effectively interjected back into a new society but as the complete opposite of his aspirations. He enters under suspicion and moves through a metaphorical jail and trial. This results in him being deemed unfit for the community and ejected from it. All this after being the victim of theft and seeing the perpetrator still at large. However, by the end of the movie, we are told what Max's real role has now become as the last words said to him are "goodbye soldier".

So, as disjointed as Beyond The Thunderdome felt, it did provide a path toward redemption for Max. When a society reforms into something corrupt, you need an army to fight for what's right.

Personally I believe this was more than a thread left hanging. I think there was a plan here to have further sequels that saw a wasteland war forming. I think this is where Fury Road got a lot of its ideas from.

There's also this from Savannah's final passage;

Still and all, every night we does the Tell so that we 'member who we was and where we came from. But most of all we 'members the man who finded us. Him that came the salvage. And we lights the city. Not just for him but for all of them that are still out there. 'Cause we knows there'll come a night when they sees the distant light and they'll be coming home.

While this may be about bringing people back to the cities, it may also be a call to arms. She may be referencing all those like Max who need to come back and unite against a growing evil.

Fury Road shows a lot of evidence that those putting together the story found Max's real character within the characters of others. This is why I think Max feels so tacked on, irrelevant, and somewhat unlikable. My view is that this is a classic case of the tail wagging the dog and happened so late into development, everyone ran with it rather than rethinking where they'd gotten to. Furiousa is Max. She is his character. There are elements of Max in the Five Wives and Nux and the Vuvalini too. Basically, you could take fourteen characters and boil them down to two. That's pretty amateurish story building and as a result Max suffers. He's incredibly selfish, irrational, and dysfunctional. He is not Max. He is not a hero. He just swings around dodging bullets. We don't admire anything he does.

Instead, everything that's life affirming is poured into the other characters. Furiosa is seen as leader who, unable to find an opposing army, can release the plight from what already exists. Nux is seen as a man who has faith in an afterlife for those who die for the right reasons. Even Immortan Joe cherishes something we can admire. His death is almost tragic and this guy's supposed to be the villain.

So now we're left more interested in these characters than the central one. We are in a piss-poor fan-fiction jerk-circle now. Anything goes and Max no longer matters.


Taipan wrote:I guess it'll all boil down to what we're going to see in the next movie. If it's going to be the same formula once again with a truck chase at the end, then we should start to worry as to how long Max's adventures will be captivating on a story level. Because I'm sure the world building and all that stuff will be on point, but it's got to be wrapped around something. Maybe Miller needs to shift the tone of the franchise once again, like he took the 'myth' approach for MM2 from the regular storytelling of the first movie.


The only way Max can be saved, and I know I bleat on about this, is via TV. We need a Main Force Patrol series set in Australia, preferably in late 70's. It needs to be a full reset with the first series building towards Max's loss and second next series focusing on his downfall and journey further into the wasteland. There's plenty to tell about his story.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Turbofurball » Wed Feb 08, 2017 11:46 am

I really don't agree with your analysis of Fury Road; as with MM2 & BT Max becomes a hero during the course of the story, and those around him are pre-set on their moral course for the duration (except Nux, but his arc is not Max-ian)
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Re: A few questions

Postby MWFV8 » Wed Feb 08, 2017 3:48 pm

Nux gets Max's ending. Nux does what we've come to expect Max to do. He takes out the enemy by hitting them head on. He shares the hero role in the movie with Furiousa.

Max is a good guy within an ensemble. He does nothing that stands out as heroic against the other characters. Worse still, it barely makes up for his remarkably selfish behaviour early on. Pointing a gun at six people and leaving them stranded while their persuers approach needs one hell of an arc and it just isn't delivered.

Fury Road only works because Max's qualities got split into different characters. However, that came at the expense of Max himself.

Think of it this way, if you took Furiousa and Nux out of Fury Road, would Max come across as a hero or a opportunist? What if you took Max out? Would it be any less of a story without him? Now apply that thinking to Road Warrior and Beyond The Thunderdome.

Good guy certainly but in no way the hero of the movie.
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Re: A few questions

Postby seriz » Wed Feb 08, 2017 7:35 pm

"That was proof that you could even use the same actor and end up with a completely different protagonist."

You speak about Max Fairchild playing two different part in MM1 and MM2 ? :mrgreen:
His purpose is to serve and protect society, but that makes him worthless in a wasteland where civilisation has resorted to everyone serving and protecting themselves. He's a sherif with no jailhouse. He needs to protect everyone but lives with the knowledge that, in this new world, he cannot even protect the people closest to him. Max himself isn't mad, he is a sane man in a mad society, and thus appears crazy to those who've lost their bearings. That's a feeling, particularly in the current political climate, I'm sure many of us can relate to.


I like the idea, a sheriff without a jailhouse but I don't recognize the character... "Serve and protect the society", it doesnt look like him, even in Mad Max 1, Do we have the feeling that he's here to "protect and serve the society" ? For me, definitely not.

For me, Max is an insane man in an insane society, it's why he survives. When he's in front of the nightrider, he doesn't blink. The old world is gone and a new one is coming, an Max belongs to it. He just needed to lose his family & friends to finally be who he really is, from the begining...
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Re: A few questions

Postby MWFV8 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 1:55 am

seriz wrote:"That was proof that you could even use the same actor and end up with a completely different protagonist."

You speak about Max Fairchild playing two different part in MM1 and MM2 ? :mrgreen:



I mean Max. Max is completely different in Beyond The Thunderdome. He's more like Martin Riggs than Max Rockatansky.


seriz wrote:
I like the idea, a sheriff without a jailhouse but I don't recognize the character... "Serve and protect the society", it doesnt look like him, even in Mad Max 1, Do we have the feeling that he's here to "protect and serve the society" ? For me, definitely not.

For me, Max is an insane man in an insane society, it's why he survives. When he's in front of the nightrider, he doesn't blink. The old world is gone and a new one is coming, an Max belongs to it. He just needed to lose his family & friends to finally be who he really is, from the begining...
imoo of course


We have to ask ourselves, how did Max end up a cop in the first place? Why did he remain a cop when society is falling apart around him? Why is his conflict over staying a cop such a big part of his character development? Why do cops feature so prominently in Road Warrior?

The madness topic really boils down to how we see his madness. It certainly could be argued that Mad Max opens with Max proving he is mad, and his madness helps him operate as a good guy. It could then be argued that his conflict over staying a cop is him trying to pull himself away from something that feeds his demons. By the end, we see a mad man who's finally found his place within a mad world. That's perfectly reasonable. However, that all sidesteps the point Taipan raised about Max being in a state of limbo. For that character thread to work, Max needs to be between two states (in this case, inhuman survivalist and human protector). If Max fits comfortably into a world of madness then he has no inner conflict with his world and thus there is no story. That's the danger with a franchise like Mad Max, that he becomes some kind of constant and the world changes around him. For him to be a compelling protagonist, he needs to demonstrate that he's multidimensional. Road Warrior does this very well in how Max can be engaging in a road war one second and emotionally involved in a music box the next. There's also a very strong parallel between the loss of civilised world and the loss Max has suffered. We the audience want the world to go back to how it was just like Max wants his life to go back to how it was. Something new and incomplete is a frustrating compromise.

If Max were to suddenly wake up and find himself in a world before it was torn apart from war, I'm in no doubt the man would fall to his knees and weep from the bottom of his soul. It isn't just about the loss of his own family for Max, it's the torment that it's happening to everybody and there's nothing he can do to hide from it. So he's just running from reality because it's too hard to face.
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Re: A few questions

Postby Taipan » Thu Feb 09, 2017 9:21 am

I think in order to make sense of all this we need to go back and examine what Max's madness is exactly.

The character of Max was conceived after Miller, fresh out of medical school, noticed how desensitized were seasoned doctors that worked for years already. And so Miller started to wonder how exposure to violence and gore would affect a regular person and what it would take to push that person over the edge. The first iteration of Max was a journalist who literally - like Miller - was going around from one place of accident to another until he started 'to enjoy it' in a sense that the shock of what he had seen wore off and a window to explore this 'madness' showed up. Curiosity was starting to kill the cat you could say. Miller just couldn't justify why that journalist's family would die - because that was necessary for Max to really go off the deep end. So he changed the profession of the main character to a cop and it all started to make sense.

This would answer your question MWFV8 why Max got in the force in the first place and why he remains a cop when the society is falling around him. Max becomes literally trapped between doing good as a cop but knowing this job ruins his psyche and on top of it all - when he loses everything, it's the only thing he thinks he needs to hold onto to keep his sense of self. Three way gridlock. He is fucked. And most of all, the limbo he entered is not sustainable at all, it progressively ruins him from one movie to the next until we finally see him in Fury Road where he's lost his marbles. So ultimately letting go of his past and starting anew - not through adventures anymore - is an absolute necessity for him. Fury Road was supposed to be the final Mad Max movie after all. And to be perfectly clear, I will look at Fury Road as the sequel to the original trilogy because that's how the movie came about, the 2015 iteration of Fury Road downplayed Max's insanity a lot and spat him out into the wasteland again (the reasoning was that Max did not deserve to go and live with Furiosa, he didn't know them enough... which would make sense if you reboot the franchise, but not a whole lot in the original version of Fury Road - Brendan McCarthy was surprised over this change as well), but the original idea of pushing Max into literal madness in the 4th movie remains. That's why you might see Max as more of a Martin Riggs character - it's because he is one in the 4th movie. From desensitization into actual madness over the course of 4 movies. On a side note, I'm wondering what they thought had happened to Max between MMBT and FR that he turned into a feral person, except for the years spent alone (I have to ask someone if the story of Glory was there from the beginning to justify all this).
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Re: A few questions

Postby Turbofurball » Thu Feb 09, 2017 10:26 am

MWFV8 wrote:Think of it this way, if you took Furiousa and Nux out of Fury Road, would Max come across as a hero or a opportunist? What if you took Max out? Would it be any less of a story without him? Now apply that thinking to Road Warrior and Beyond The Thunderdome.

Good guy certainly but in no way the hero of the movie.
So, Max kills a bunch of War Boys (Nux does not, in fact he only directly kills one person), sets traps for pursuers, kills a tank, comes up with a plan when everyone else is just running away (including both Nux and Furiosa), is instrumental in the plan succeeding, saves Furiosa (twice), and delivers the body of Immortan Joe to the Citadel ... but that's not enough heroing?!

For me, one of the points of the film was that single handedly NOBODY could take down Immortan Joe. Only by combining the efforts of three very different people could it be done
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Re: A few questions

Postby MWFV8 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:26 am

Taipan wrote:I think in order to make sense of all this we need to go back and examine what Max's madness is exactly.

The character of Max was conceived after Miller, fresh out of medical school, noticed how desensitized were seasoned doctors that worked for years already. And so Miller started to wonder how exposure to violence and gore would affect a regular person and what it would take to push that person over the edge. The first iteration of Max was a journalist who literally - like Miller - was going around from one place of accident to another until he started 'to enjoy it' in a sense that the shock of what he had seen wore off and a window to explore this 'madness' showed up. Curiosity was starting to kill the cat you could say. Miller just couldn't justify why that journalist's family would die - because that was necessary for Max to really go off the deep end. So he changed the profession of the main character to a cop and it all started to make sense.

This would answer your question MWFV8 why Max got in the force in the first place and why he remains a cop when the society is falling around him. Max becomes literally trapped between doing good as a cop but knowing this job ruins his psyche and on top of it all - when he loses everything, it's the only thing he thinks he needs to hold onto to keep his sense of self. Three way gridlock. He is fucked. And most of all, the limbo he entered is not sustainable at all, it progressively ruins him from one movie to the next until we finally see him in Fury Road where he's lost his marbles. So ultimately letting go of his past and starting anew - not through adventures anymore - is an absolute necessity for him. Fury Road was supposed to be the final Mad Max movie after all. And to be perfectly clear, I will look at Fury Road as the sequel to the original trilogy because that's how the movie came about, the 2015 iteration of Fury Road downplayed Max's insanity a lot and spat him out into the wasteland again (the reasoning was that Max did not deserve to go and live with Furiosa, he didn't know them enough... which would make sense if you reboot the franchise, but not a whole lot in the original version of Fury Road - Brendan McCarthy was surprised over this change as well), but the original idea of pushing Max into literal madness in the 4th movie remains. That's why you might see Max as more of a Martin Riggs character - it's because he is one in the 4th movie. From desensitization into actual madness over the course of 4 movies. On a side note, I'm wondering what they thought had happened to Max between MMBT and FR that he turned into a feral person, except for the years spent alone (I have to ask someone if the story of Glory was there from the beginning to justify all this).


What's interesting about Miller's original concept is that Don McCullin said that's what happened to him. He got to the point where being away from reporting wars left him depressed and needing to go back even though it constantly horrified him when he went back out.

Thanks for explaining this all to me. That was a fascinating read.

I can certainly buy into the concept of the entire Max story being a man's descent into madness. However, it is hard to take something life affirming from that and, as you stated earlier, it becomes formulaic. I guess it's all to play for now with the Wasteland.
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Re: A few questions

Postby MWFV8 » Thu Feb 09, 2017 11:33 am

Turbofurball wrote:Good guy certainly but in no way the hero of the movie.
So, Max kills a bunch of War Boys (Nux does not, in fact he only directly kills one person), sets traps for pursuers, kills a tank, comes up with a plan when everyone else is just running away (including both Nux and Furiosa), is instrumental in the plan succeeding, saves Furiosa (twice), and delivers the body of Immortan Joe to the Citadel ... but that's not enough heroing?![/quote]

No. That's just fighting. Fighting doesn't make somebody a hero, especially when that person seems superhuman and indestructible. Sure he's instrumental, but he does nothing that makes him stand out as the movie's protagonist. Furiousa is the protagonist.

Turbofurball wrote:For me, one of the points of the film was that single handedly NOBODY could take down Immortan Joe. Only by combining the efforts of three very different people could it be done


Yes. Because it's an ensemble comic-book movie.
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