Genre: Action
Premise: In an apocalyptic future, a woman rescues the five wives of her insane leader, and tries to take them to her childhood home.
About: George C. Miller has been trying to make this movie FOREVER. With Miller getting older, it was looking like it wasn’t going to happen. He finally scraped together $150 million though to get his dream film finished. The movie debuted this weekend and took in 42 million dollars, a respectable sum, but not enough to defeat a group of crooning women. That’s right, Pitch Perfect 2 took in 65 million dollars.
Writer: George C. Miller (he was the only writer on the draft that I read)
Details: 120 minutes

mad_max_fury_road_ver9_xlg

They say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.

That definition has now been retired.

The definition of insanity is George Miller.

And I mean that in the most glorious way.

I read this script almost three years ago and I remember thinking, “This is the best written chase in the history of cinema.” But even what I read on the page could not possibly prepare me for what I saw on the screen this weekend. Miller didn’t just run with his chase. He fucking stashed the thing into a nuke blender and created the second Big Bang.

Fury Road’s story is both simple and complex (remember, we’re talking about an insane person here. Many things you read in this review will contradict themselves). The simple part is that this woman, Furiosa, a dependable driver in a post-apocalypitc town run by a madman named Immortan Joe, decides to ditch her city and head back to the town she was kidnapped from as a child (the Green Place). Immortan Joe then sends his entire brigade of cars to stop her.

We have a clear goal (get to the Green Place), urgency (they’re being chased the whole time), and stakes (death). And this is where the complexity seeps in. Furiosa has kidnapped five drop-dead gorgeous women who breed babies for Immortan Joe. She doesn’t like that the five sirens are being enslaved and wants to bring them along. Almost all of these sirens are pregnant.

Now you may be saying, “Well wait a minute. Where the hell is Mad Max?” Ooh, we’re going to get all sorts of into that in a bit. But basically, Max has recently been kidnapped by Immortan’s clan, the War Boys, and is now being used as a “blood bag.” Lots of people in this town have janky blood and need to be constantly pumped with healthy blood to stay alive.

One of these pale-as-a-sheet boys is Nux, who really really really wants to join the chase for Furiosa. But he won’t survive without blood. Hence he comes up with a plan to chain Max to the front of his car and use him as a constant influx of blood during the chase.

As you can imagine, Max eventually gets free, teams up with a tepid Furiosa and the sirens, and the group tries to get to the Green Place together. It’s not without its share of challenges though. Out here in the nowhere lands, there are NUMEROUS tribes and clans, all with their own types of cars and styles, determined to take Furiosa’s team down.

Tom-Hardy-Mad-Max-header

Let me just start by saying this is probably going to be my favorite movie of the year. This is unparalleled filmmaking here. You can tell that this is the movie George Miller originally envisioned in his head 30 years ago but only had 1/10th the budget to bring it to life. Well, he finally got 10/10ths of his budget and the result is magnificent. Almost everything is done practically. The style is unlike anything at the movies right now. It’s imaginative. It’s bold. It takes chances that lesser filmmakers wouldn’t even dream of.

But the film is not perfect because the screenplay is really strange. First of all, you have Furiosa. If it was just her and these sirens trying to get to this land of hers, everything would’ve been a lot smoother. Instead, we have this weird Max subplot where he’s literally silent for the first 50 minutes of the movie, strapped to the front of this car, watching everything happen around him. Mad Max, the character who’s name is in the title, HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THE FIRST 50 MINUTES OF THIS MOVIE.

In fact, as crazy as it sounds, you could take Max out of this movie and barely anything would change. This isn’t Max’s movie. It’s Furiosa’s. So how the hell did that happen?

Well, here’s my theory. We all know that Miller’s been trying to make this movie forever. He’s had near-starts maybe a dozen times, many of them with Mel Gibson.

When Mel got too old to play the part, Miller started searching for younger actors to play Max, and that carousel went on for awhile without success. Finally, he decided to give up on Max and build a new character to center the movie around, Furiosa. That, for whatever reason, got him a green light, but then at some point somebody wised up and said, “We can’t have a Mad Max movie without Max,” and rising star Hardy was cast.

However, the script was already written and Charlize was cast. So how the hell did Miller infuse Max in the story? This is how. And this is why Max seems to always be on the outskirts of a plot that clearly favors Furiosa.

Now I happen to know a couple of people on the production of this film who confirmed exactly why this was a problem. According to them, both Charlize and Tom were pissed off at the fact that the other thought it was THEIR movie. And they were completely justified. Charlize’s character’s the one who’s driving the plot. Tom’s character has his name in the title of the movie. A series of carefully worded conversations needed to be had with each actor to convince them that THEY were in fact the star and not the other way around.

This speaks to a problem that I’ve been preaching to screenwriters forever. Unless it’s a team-up scenario (Safe House) stay far away from the dual-protagonist screenplay. It’s just too hard to pull off and you’re always going to be struggling to find that balance between each character.

So why does the movie still work despite this flaw? Because the chase scenes here were the single greatest chase scenes in the history of cinema. If you have something in your script/movie that is the single greatest in history, your script/movie can survive a lot of flaws.

This is the same thing I say to writers who point out that When Harry Met Sally had no plot, no goal, little structure, and basically followed two people sitting down and talking about nothing for 2 hours. That’s all true, but When Harry Met Sally also contained the best dialogue in the history of romantic comedies. Hence, it was able to overcome these issues.

mad-max-fury-road

“Man, there sure a lot of people in here.”

So what changed between the draft that I read of Fury Road and the final movie? Not much. They gave Furiosa an amputated arm for some reason, I imagine because it gave her a little more to play with as an actor. Plus she has a mechanical arm that looks cool now.

Nicholas Hoult’s character, Nux, got a more developed part. I barely remember him in the script but here he gets to come over to the good guys, strike up a relationship with one of the sirens, before redeeming himself in the end. My guess is that the studio was always unhappy with the fact that there’s no love story between Max and Furiosa (a super bold move on Miller’s part) and they wanted a love story somewhere. Hence, they created the Nux love story.

The last thing about the script that drove me crazy was the ending. And this keeps Fury Road from becoming a true classic. The entire movie is geared towards getting to the “Green Place.” However, once they get there, they find out that the place is dead. It’s no longer there.

So what do they do? Max decides that they should simply… go back!

I’m sorry but WHHHHAAAAA???? We spent the last 100 minutes getting to this place and now the last 20 minutes are going to be about going right back??? Um, no. No no no no no noononojoajono. NO GEORGE MILLER! You had something amazing on your hands here. Why couldn’t you have come up with a better ending!!!!???? Anything would’ve been better than going right back where you started.

So did that mean the ending sucked? No. The ending was saved by the same reason the whole movie was saved. Because the chases were so freaking spectacular that you forgot all about the story. I mean, there is a guy in one of the cars CHAINED TO A FUCKING GUITAR that he is playing for the ENTIRE MOVIE. There are gunners who SWING FROM 50 FEET TALL SWINGING STICKS, grabbing our heroes. There’s a buzzsaw truck. There is a tuck with a bulldozer mounted on it. I mean, how can you not forget about story when that’s happening?

I guess I’m just selfish. I wanted my Australian Desert Cake and to eat it too. Still, even with these weaknesses, Fury Road is a visual feast and the must-see blockbuster of the year. I even saw it in 3-D, which I never do, and the extra four bucks was worth it. I implore you to do the same.

Movie Rating

[ ] what the hell did I just watch?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[ ] worth the price of admission
[x] impressive
[ ] genius

Screenplay Rating

[ ] what the hell did I just read?
[ ] wasn’t for me
[x] worth the read
[ ] impressive
[ ] genius

What I learned: Stay away from the dual-protagonist story unless it’s a team-up movie. There are movies where it has worked, yes, but it usually doesn’t, as a story naturally wants to wrap itself around a single hero.

  • S.C.

    Would you spend $150 million on a R-rated sequel to RAMBO which doesn’t star Sylvester Stallone?

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/it/b/b5/Rambo_III_-_screenshot.jpg
    This is what REAL men look like!

    Hollywood relies on big-budget movies to make big profits. That’s why it makes them. Not to break even. To make lots and lots of money.

    http://www.andreeochoa.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/05/online-money-domain-reseller-plan.jpg

    When a film is unsuccessful or disappoints at the box office it affects all future productions.

    A film has to make about two-and-one-half times its production cost plus its prints and
    advertisting cost. For MAD MAX 4, this is probably about $200 million total. That means the film must make $500 million before it makes a profit.

    So far, it’s made $109,440,000 around the world.

    Some facts to consider:

    Tom Hardy box office

    Mad Max: Fury Road $44,440,000
    Child 44 $1,224,330
    The Drop $10,724,389
    Locke $1,375,769
    Lawless $37,400,127
    The Dark Knight Rises $448,139,099
    This Means War $54,760,791
    Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy $24,149,393
    Warrior $13,657,115
    Inception $292,576,195
    Bronson $104,979
    RockNRolla $5,700,626
    Marie Antoinette $15,962,471
    Layer Cake $2,339,957
    Dot the I $307,486
    The Reckoning $257,252
    Star Trek: Nemesis $43,254,409
    Black Hawk Down $108,638,745

    http://getthatprosound.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Bane-and-Batman-Dark-Knight-Rises-DKR.jpg

    George Miller box office

    Mad Max: Fury Road $44,440,000
    Happy Feet Two $64,006,466
    Happy Feet $198,000,317
    Babe: Pig in the City $18,319,860
    Lorenzo’s Oil $7,286,388
    The Witches of Eastwick $63,766,510
    Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome $36,230,219
    Twilight Zone: The Movie $29,450,919
    The Road Warrior $23,667,907
    Mad Max $8,750,000

    http://cdn8.gamerpops.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/06/happyfeet-2.jpg

    Highest grossing R-rated films

    1. The Passion of the Christ $370,782,930
    2. American Sniper $349,451,927
    3. The Matrix Reloaded $281,576,461
    4. The Hangover $277,322,503
    5. The Hangover Part II $254,464,305
    6. Beverly Hills Cop $234,760,478
    7. The Exorcist $232,906,145
    8. Ted $218,815,487
    9. Saving Private Ryan $216,540,909
    10. 300 $210,614,939
    11. Wedding Crashers $209,255,921
    12. Terminator 2: Judgment Day $204,843,345

    http://www.armenianorthodoxchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/charcharank.jpg
    THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST earning its R-rating.

    Most expensive R-rated films of all time

    1. Troy $175 million
    2. Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines $167 million
    3. Alexander $155 million
    4. Mad Max: Fury Road $150 million
    5. The Wolfman $150 million
    6. The Matrix Reloaded $150 million
    7. The Matrix Revolutions $150 million
    8. Miami Vice $135 million
    9. Bad Boys II $130 million
    10. Watchmen $130 million
    11. Prometheus $120-$130 million
    12. True Lies $100-$120 million
    13. 300: Rise of an Empire $110 million

    http://images.celebritymoviearchive.com/members/thumbs/sd/b/1449/bM2058-KristannaLoken@Terminator3-FS_3-500.jpg
    TERMINATOR 3 earning its R-rating. No, really… just for this scene.

    Longest time between R-rated sequels

    1. The Killer Shrews/Return of the Killer Shrews 54 years, 119 days
    2. Easy Rider/Easy Rider: The Ride Back 43 years, 140 days
    3. This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse/Embodiment of Evil 41 years, 148 days
    4. The X from Outer Space/The Monster X Strikes Back/Attack the G8 Summit 41 years, 102 days
    5. Belle de Jour/Belle Toujours 39 years, 107 days
    6. Blood Feast /Blood Feast 2: All U Can Eat 38 years, 268 days
    7. The Wicker Man/The Wicker Tree 37 years, 222 days
    8. The Naked Civil Servant/An Englishman in New York 33 years, 145 days
    9. Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome/Mad Max: Fury Road 29 years, 309 days
    10. John Carpenter’s The Thing/The Thing (prequel) 29 years, 111 days
    11. The Sword and the Sorcerer/Tales of an Ancient Empire 28 years, 99 days
    12. Shaft in Africa/Shaft (2000) 27 years, 2 days
    13. Slap Shot/Slap Shot 2: Breaking the Ice 25 years, 29 days
    14. The Hustler/The Color of Money 25 years, 22 days
    15. Sleepaway Camp/Return to Sleepaway Camp 24 years, 352 days
    16. Bachelor Party/Bachelor Party 2: The Last Temptation 23 years, 256 days
    17. Psycho/Psycho II 22 years, 352 days
    18. Carrie/The Rage: Carrie 2 22 years, 129 days
    19. Django/Django 2: Il Grande Ritorno 21 years, 241 days
    20. The Lost Boys/Lost Boys: The Tribe 20 years, 364 days
    21. Hobgoblins/Hobgoblins 2 20 years, 344 days
    22. Day of the Dead/Day of the Dead 2: Contagium 20 years, 91 days
    23. Day of the Dead/Land of the Dead 19 years, 340 days
    24. Rambo III/Rambo 19 years, 245 days

    http://roberthood.net/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/SHREWS_cover.jpg
    Worth waiting 54 years for?

    Some films that have a Cinemascore of B+

    Super 8: “B+”
    Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer: “B+” (“A-” w/ audiences under 18; “C+”
    w/ audiences over 25)
    X-Men: First Class: “B+”
    Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: “B+”
    Bridesmaids: “B+”
    Thor: “B+”
    Prom: “B+”
    Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil: “B+”
    Limitless: “B+”
    Paul: “B+” (“A” with audience under 18)
    Beastly: “B+”
    Unknown: “B+”
    I Am Number Four: “B+” (“A-” with audiences under 25)
    Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son: “B+”
    Gnomeo And Juliet: “B+”
    The Green Hornet : “B+” (“A” with audiences under 18, “A-” with audiences under 25)
    True Grit: “B+” (“A-” from those under 25)
    The Next Three Days: “B+”
    Jackass 3D: “B+”
    The Social Network: “B+”
    You Again: “B+”
    The Town: “B+” (“A-” with male audiences, “A+” with audiences under 18)
    The Expendables: “B+”
    Charlie St. Cloud: “B+”
    Salt: B+
    Inception: “B+”
    The Sorcerer’s Apprentice: “B+”
    Mad Max: Fury Road: “B+”

    http://www.coreybrinn.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/12/CIMG7669.jpg

    Thank you for making it this far.

    Here’s a great script:

    http://www.flickeringmyth.com/2015/03/steven-de-souza-talks-his-commando-2-script-did-it-become-die-hard.html

    I read it, years ago. Brilliant script. Would cost a bundle to make. Shootouts in skyscrapers, helicopter chases, plane crashes. But brilliant, you could film it today.

    But… would you spend $150 million on a R-rated sequel to COMMANDO? 30 years after the original? Without Arnold Schwarzenegger?

    Something to think about.

    http://cdn.moviestillsdb.com/sm/caf74cfbc8c3b0b13090a87677fc5ebd/commando.jpg
    This is what REAL men look like!

    Here’s the full movie:

    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2dvfzb_arnold-schwarzenegger-commando-full-movie-1080p_fun

    Thank you for reading.

    • Gregory Mandarano

      I would watch the shit out of Commando 2.

      • S.C.

        I wish I still had the script. It was online, but they took it down I think because they want to do a remake. Shame, it was a great script.

        • andyjaxfl

          I have a Commando II draft dated February 6, 1989 by Steven E. DeSouza with Frank Daranbont revisions. If you still want it, let me know and I’ll send it over. I’m off to work so I won’t be able to send until I get home.

          • S.C.

            I would love it and I would love you! mr.scottcrawford @ hotmail

          • andyjaxfl

            Sent!

          • Cfrancis1

            Oh, man! Would LOVE to read it!

            cameronfrancis5@gmail.com

          • S.C.

            Sent!!

          • andyjaxfl

            Sent!!!

          • Jarman Alexander

            That is too good to pass up!
            J.Jarman.Alexander@gmail.com

          • S.C.

            Sent!

          • andyjaxfl

            Just sent it

    • Malibo Jackk

      Good to see The Social Network get a cinema score of B+.
      (Right after Jackass 3D.)

    • Scott Chamberlain

      “Would you spend $150 million on a R-rated sequel to RAMBO which doesn’t star Sylvester Stallone?”

      • S.C.

        Odds are on RAMBO (figures adjusted for inflation):

        1 Rambo: First Blood Part II $344,048,800
        2 First Blood $130,397,600
        3 Rambo III $106,124,300
        4 Rambo $48,351,400

        Total $628,922,100
        Average $157,230,500

        1 Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome $82,870,200
        2 The Road Warrior $65,368,500
        3 Mad Max: Fury Road $44,440,000
        4 Mad Max $26,412,600

        Total $219,091,400
        Average $54,772,800

    • ChadStuart

      You’re only considering the initial theatrical run. The “Mad Max” movies have been perennial earners for Warners over the last 40 years. “The Road Warrior” is one of the crown jewels they can use to sell off television rights. Studios sell off packages off pacakges of movies to television stations, and basically say you can have this crown jewel for a slightly reduced rate so long as you also purchase the rights to these other not so great movies. “The Shawshank Redemption” is the biggest of the Crown Jewels in their library, but “The Road Warrior” and even “Thunderdome” are on that list as well. They’re looking at the next decade or two of revenue, not just the next few months, when they greenlit another “Mad Max” movie.

      I’m sure there are plenty of TV stations globally that still run “Rambo” movies constantly. With that in mind, I would greenlight another “Rambo” movie without Stallone, especially since they are largely dialogue-less movies that translate very well to foreign markets.

      • S.C.

        I’m just crunching the numbers I’ve got.

        Opening weekend: $44.4 million
        Cinemascore: B+ (disappointing, translates to 3.2 multiplier)
        Final domestic run: $142.08 million
        Worldwide gross (assuming international is 70% of total): $331.52 million
        Negative cost: at least $150 million
        Prints and advertising: more than $40 million
        Total cost: over $200 million
        Amount film has to make so WB will make a profit (2.5 times cost): $500 million
        Amount Fury Road has to make on DVD, home cinema, TV, etc: $168.48 million

        But if people (non-fans) found it disappointing at the cinema, why would they spend money to see it again at home?

        Bottom line: They spent too much money.

        Hey, I loved RAISE THE TITANIC:

        And that movie did well on TV. But not enough.

        I liked SAHARA too, but that wasn’t successful.

        • ChadStuart

          Well, that’s the issue with studios. They like to hide the money made after theatrical as much as possible. Without those numbers, though, it’s impossible to truly understand their decisions.

          • S.C.

            Yeah, I don’t have TV revenue and its all very sinister.

            I haven’t got the figures to hand, but from memory….

            SAHARA made $119,269,486 around the world. Over five years it was expected to generate a NET total of $200 million. So about one and two thirds the worldwide gross.

            From that the studio had to deduct the cost of the film – $165 million, more than advertised – and the cost of releasing the film – $125 million over five years.

            That led to a loss of $85 million.

            Applying the same math to FURY ROAD… well, it might a profit, it might not. Still, I don’t think another studio will risk doing something similar again, say KING CONAN directed by John Millius with a $150 million budget.

            Shame.

    • Nicholas J

      I’m imagining studio executives reading this comment while using stacks of $100 bills to wipe away their tears of laughter.

      • S.C.

        You mean the executives who won’t be sacked because they greenlit this movie?

      • S.C.

        BTW, if you think the comment is funny, you can always upvote it. I mean, you’ve upvoted plenty of other comments.

        • Nicholas J

          If you want my vote then post a comment about screenwriting that I find insightful. That’s what I come here for. I can get box office numbers from deadline. Sorry?

          • S.C.

            Oooh, get you!

            What exactly would be “insightful” enough for you?

            If you don’t like my comments, just ignore them.

          • Nicholas J

            I guess you could tell by looking at the comments I vote for? I dunno, why are you asking? I read a comment and think, “good comment,” and vote for it.

          • S.C.

            And you read my comment and though I’ll make fun of Scott?

            I’m not that thin-skinned, but don’t you think it’s a little off. I mean, what have I written that is incorrect? If you wrote that rather than a comment about executives laughing at my comment, then maybe we could debate a point, like Chad Stuart did.

            Mad Max 4 only scored a B+ on Cinemascore and looks like making only about 80% of its negative cost domestic, and yet some people are reacting as if its the second coming. SOMEONE must not like it.

            Key thing will be next weekend, see if it drops worse than Avengers did (that was 70%).

          • Nicholas J

            I read your comment and thought it was a good opportunity for a joke. Nothing to do with you, sorry, don’t take it personally.

            I’m not interested in debating a point about box office numbers. I don’t really care. I said I come here to talk about screenwriting.

            Does this answer all your questions pertaining to my throwaway comment? Because I’ve got a sandwich in the fridge that’s calling my name.

          • S.C.

            Seriously, Nicholas, I don’t think you understand how your “throwaway comments” come across.

            To me “studio executives reading this comment while using stacks of $100 bills to wipe away their tears of laughter” is open to interpretation. Are you saying my comment was funny? Thanks. You can upvote it.

            Are you saying my comment was laughable, tell me why.

            I’m a serious screenwriter. Don’t mock me.

          • Nicholas J

            It means they are laughing because you’re saying how disappointing this movie is when it’s anything but. Didn’t think it was that cryptic. Seems like it performed just as expected, if not a tad better, and with astoundingly high critic praise. There is way more money to be made than just opening weekend totals. I’m seeing a big franchise reboot in the making here, one that’s probably going to make a lot of people happy.

            And stop trying to paint everyone with a different opinion than you as a bully out to get you. Not everything needs to be a thing. Chill.

  • sotiris5000

    I for one could not give a shit that Furiosa was leading the story for the first 50 minutes, or that they went back to the Citadel at the end. I don’t think anyone else really cares about that either.

    Also, Furiosa’s name is in the title too. Sort of.

  • Gregory Mandarano

    So who saw the Mad Men finale?

    I loved it! It made me weep.

    • Brainiac138

      Enjoyed every character conclusion, except Peggy’s. I didn’t hate it, just felt a little conventional.

    • Howie428

      I only just caught up on Mad Men and I’ve found it to be a bit frustrating. I haven’t been able to figure out why the show needs to end. The story isn’t structured that way and so the build up to a conclusion has felt false to me. Sure enough the finale wrapped a few things up, but also left a lot of stuff in the air in much the same way that a season finale might have done.

      In jettisoning minor characters and focusing back on the core figures the final season has for me exposed a weakness of the show… It was an amazing set-up of situation and characters, but after that it didn’t seem to move on much. In the final season pretty much all the characters were dealing with exactly the same stuff they had been tackling in the first few shows.

      The only fresh character who was prominent in the wrap up, and the one I’d build a spin off around, was Sally, but that’s only because she aged into her role.

      Not only did the show not move on, but in many respects it didn’t pay-off some of the big hooks that it initially had. Don’s identity thing was a great device and produced some strong drama with the two sides of him, but when he was exposed it didn’t really matter much. Peggy’s early family issues affected her, but they didn’t get re-explored in a way that might have sent her off the rails. Betty was set up as being psychologically child-like with destructive tendencies and had some compelling storylines that teased us, but they left her as she started.

      Overall, Mad Men is a masterpiece of show design, has some incredible work in it, including some great episodes. But the story ultimately remained static, didn’t move on to having new things to say, didn’t pay-off the baggage of the characters, and so perhaps it has to end because it didn’t evolve.

      • Brainiac138

        I love it that so many things were left unresolved. It felt like life, people come in and go, things are ridiculously important at the time and then are forgotten about. Certainly the writers of Mad Men could have written something that tied everything in a nice bow, like Breaking Bad or any FX show, but Mad Men was always trying to be bigger than that, like an epic novel as opposed to a generic short story.

    • Magga

      (SPOILERS) They dropped the greatest plot twist in the history of the medium right at the very end. I was floored. This wasn’t about people of privilege losing power at all, it was about how all change and counterculture is ultimately absorbed by commercialism to create coke-addicts. Don Draper rules the world, and his great insight after going on an internal and external journey and shedding his possessions is an ad. Hearing people singing “it’s the real thing” while holding coke bottles as we went to the credits was a statement of intent that only heightened the depth of the show. Amazing.

  • ripleyy

    The one thing I was really surprised about was how freaking rich this world was. It was carefully thought out and that, to me, is CRAZY. They would have a hit either way, but they decided to add a rich – and deeply fascinating – mythology to it. Valhalla. The way they pray. A lesser writer would say “I have a film that is one large car chase. I don’t need anything else”. That is why I love this movie so much because of how plausible, how well thought out this whole thing was.

    Someone on Twitter summed up this movie extremely well: It’s an opera. A rock concert on wheels. It’s huge, grand and so larger than life. This isn’t some two-dimensional action movie, this feels a lot more. I’m surprised this didn’t turn into a full-blown musical.

    I thought the end was super weird (hey let’s go… back?) but like Carson said, who cares? Everything about this movie is what people have been crying for: spectacle without the glossy manufactured touch to it.

    • Scott Chamberlain

      I think he needed the rich world to be able to make the chase work. It gives the chase a structure it would not have had and informed some of more inspired choices. No one is chasing (and dying) for chasing (or dying’s sake). Immortan has his wives and babies, his eldest son want an intac baby brother, the War Boys get to die shiy and chrome. Even the Doof Wagon is not random: it’s that world’s little drummer boy.

      • ripleyy

        Yeah, everything has a place which I liked. From what I have read, every character has a backstory, even the Doof guy. I also liked the stakes for Immortan Joe, as his wives were bearing his legacy, his dynasty. While the villian, those stakes are still high and I thought that was neat. I can’t spoil, but there is a point where that becomes grief which fuels – no pun intended – his journey to take down Max and the others.

  • Panos Tsapanidis

    I didn’t find the decision of going back to where they came from a bad plot choice, because it’s obvious how scarce natural resources are. The fact that 150km ahead of the Green Place would be nothing but salt as Max says to Furiosa, sounds like the logical thing to say.

    So, the ‘All is lost’ moment was there, and the insanely huge final obstacle to overcome (go back to where they came from & take Immortan’s kingdom) appeared.

    What didn’t play well though, was how quickly they overcame that final obstacle, since its nature was in our minds had a geographical element (not sure if I word it correctly.) It took them 90 minutes to reach the Green Place, but only 10 to go back to where they started AND take over the kingdom. The whole battle felt too short.

    Though, WHO CARES? I enjoyed every frame. This is the movie of the year.

    • S.C.

      FURY ROAD got a Cinemascore of ‘B+'; do you think people were disappointed with the film (despite its qualities in places) and that’s why no ‘A’ score?

      Glad you liked it.

      • Panos Tsapanidis

        Tough question.

        I would probably blame the ending along with the fact that they didn’t judge it by its nature, as a pure summer blockbuster, but instead they wanted something deeper story-wise because they think of the Mad Max franchise as a treasured memory of past times, which always makes something feel more special and more valuable.

      • charliesb

        I think the B+ is because some people expected/wanted more Max. And wanted him to be more of a “badass” and less of a broken man.

      • klmn

        Maybe it means car movies have peaked. After all the Fast & Furious movies, could the audience be looking for something else?

    • ripleyy

      While weird, it did make sense. The Citadel(sp?) was the only place that had water and a means to survive. Taking it is a bold choice, but an easy one (and not in a bad sort of way). I think we’re just hard-wired to have the protagonists go further than going backwards. I actually think it takes a lot of guts to pull a risk like that off. Very ballsy.

  • S.C.

    THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK has dual protagonists, or at least two concurrent stories – Luke Skywalker and his story and Han Solo and his story. After Act I the two don’t meet again ’til the sequel.

    Don’t disagree with What I Learned on dual protagonists, just that there are exceptions.

    I mean, STAR WARS 2 was a perfectly constructed screenplay, with everything worked out carefully in advance.

    http://www.empireonline.com/images/image_index/original/45345.jpg

  • Scott Chamberlain

    Does anyone have the script?

    scott dot chamberlains at chamberlains dot com dot au

    Forever in your debt.

    • S.C.

      No. I looked on TB this morning and no.

      Here’s Road Warrior, not pdf.
      http://www.scifiscripts.com/scripts/madmax2.txt

      • charliesb

        I just now realized that S.C and Scott Chamberlain are NOT the same person. :)

        • S.C.

          I’m British, he’s Australian.

        • Scott Chamberlain

          Spread the word…

    • tyrabanksy

      Oooh yeah… if anyone finds it, I’m dying to read it too.

    • jbird669

      I’d love to read it as well. jedi_116@yahoo.com

  • charliesb

    “Let me just start by saying this is probably going to be my favorite movie of the year.”

    Me too. Hands down. No contest.

  • Scott Chamberlain

    I felt the decision to go back was integral to the story. Max, Furiosa, the Wives are literally reborn as they race through the canyon and emerge from the stone arch, briging life and hope, babies and seed, with them. All the men and monsters crash and die, stillborn like the deformities they are. There’s a lot of feminism in this film…

  • charliesb

    The decision to go back was weird especially with what it took to get where they were going. The trip to the green place was a struggle against nature, their resources and the hordes of people chasing them. The trip back was basically them against Immortan, suddenly all the other things that made the trip so perilous were gone or played down.

    Still an amazing film. Tom Hardy was great, he is so good at conveying emotion with just the smallest movements in his face.

    • HRV

      First goal was to escape and get to the green place. It’s not there, so what’s left: To travel on over the salts to what might be nothing but a death in the desert, or make a heroic dash to what is a substitute green place. A balancing of risks, weighing the unknown against the known, with the possibility of defeating the enemy in the process. Continuing on across the salt would have changed the dynamic of the movie.
      My only question was: What was Furiosa seeking redemption for? She had been wronged, but hadn’t wronged anyone? Or did I miss something.

      • Nicholas J

        What was Furiosa seeking redemption for?

        My interpretation of that was just that she had been working as a driver for the villain, and so she was part of the corrupt machine that was Joe’s control of the Citadel and its people.

        So her redemption then is to save some of the innocents. Do her part in some small way and hit Joe where it counts.

        And that goes back to my post about them not explaining anything. We are given no setup to her character or goals. When we see her, she’s already in the middle of her mission, and it’s left up to us to piece the clues together to figure out her story. It leaves a lot off screen, and that gives the story so much momentum, and keeps us engaged. Great stuff.

        • HRV

          That was basically my take on it, but unless she was doing that of her own free will…

  • Bifferspice

    i have become so bored with action films. the marvel films send me to sleep. this was amazing. pure bolt of cinematic adrenaline, beautifully shot, and with more imagination than in the last 20 action films i’ve seen all put together. absolutely brilliant.

  • Jovan Jevtic

    Don’t be afraid to give it [ x] genius. That’s what this movie is.

  • Randy Williams

    The shooting script has two co-screenwriters credited on the poster. Brendan McCarthy (no, not Brendon McCarthy, the Dodger pitcher) and Nico Lathouris. Lathouris is an actor and drama coach with no writing credits that I can find, plays a mechanic in the movie, and McCarthy I couldn’t find anything on. Some peeps Miller brought in?

    • S.C.

      I was surprised Terry Hayes’ name was absent from the credits.

      http://mrmedia.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/MM_Terry_Hayes_I_Am_Pilgrim_novelist_Mad_Max_screenwriter_Screenshot.gif

      Does Hayes’ absence explain anything?

    • ripleyy

      McCarthy is an artist (done 2000AD with Judge Dredd) with zero writing credits, but he’s the one you should thank for Fury Road to look the way it does – he designed all of it, the vehicles, the way the war boys should look.

      • Bifferspice

        Yeah, I believe McCarthy is the main man behind the visuals and a lot of the ideas in the film. i’d imagine the offers are rolling in for him round about now!!

  • fragglewriter

    Even thought I watched the movie as a kid and loved it but watched it as an adult and was bored, but this new story is saved by the special effects. Why couldn’t Max get a bigger story and use Furiosa as story B? I understand that making the protagonist a bad ass woman will switch things up to feel fresh, but if that’s the case, why not create an original story with Furiosa as the lead?

    To go back works in some films so before I say it doesn’t work here, I’ll have to view the film first. I’ll wait until it arrives at Redbox as it doesn’t look like a movie that I would waste my money on cause it’s not exciting. I’m surprised Pitch Perfect 2 out beat Max as from the trailer and scenes that I’ve seen from the movie, it was missing a lot of jokes. I can’t believe that singing got more precedence over organic comedy.

  • Javier Eliezer Otero

    OT: Does anyone here have the Wonder Woman draft written by Josh Whedon? Thousand thanks for anyone who share it. Javierotero26@hotmail.com

  • Doug

    I saw Fury Road on opening day. Yeah, it’s my favourite movie of the year. On the Batshit Crazy-O-Meter, this movie is off the scale.

    However, I didn’t think it was perfect. Where was the humour that we saw in The Road Warrior? I also found it impossible to care about any of the characters. (SPOILER) So even when someone important, like one of the wives, gets killed, I didn’t feel anything. And the ending left me flat. Where was the deep irony/twist like in The Road Warrior?

    • Brainiac138

      I also felt that even with Hardy’s decent performance, it was missing the kind of half-grin/half oh-shit face Mel Gibson was great at giving when crazy crap went down in the Road Warrior.

    • carsonreeves1

      I agree. It needed a little bit more humor.

  • Felip Serra

    I thought the freeing the Citadel was the proper choice because I see the driving theme of the film as Redemption (no pun intended). Furiosa says this as blatantly in the film.

    But its the same with both “Road Warrior” and “Beyond Thunderdome” as well: A sort of “re-humanizing” of Max — The man who had lost everything rediscovering his own qualities and reconnecting, in some small way, back with humanity.

    I see “Fury Road” as an extension of this same arch — but since the film was much broader in scope the stakes of the “redemption” had to be equal in size, thus they saved the population of the Citadel. In doing this both Max and Furiosa also redeem themselves on a microcosmic level — And that, to me, is having your cake and eating it too.

    My only regret is that I didn’t think of “Furiosa” as a name for either of my daughters :)

  • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

    Interesting review, Carson. I saw “Mad Max: the Fury Road” over the weekend and was AMAZED at how well George Miller set up the post-apaclypic world which time-wise is supposed to take place between the first movie in the series, “Mad Max” (1979) and “The Road Warrior” (1981). From a high concept standpoint, a.k.a world-building I would give George Miller and his team a 10. I love the three warlord cities which rule and then Furosia attempted prison break. Genious.

    George Miller pulled a George Lucas, he managed to pulloff one of the hardest feats to accomplish: prequel a previous movie he made–and an iconic one at that!

    Like you, I LOVED the chase scenes. Very well done. A-MAZING camera work done on film the moving car attacks. I especially liked the car chase scene in the canyon when the bikers are jumping over the gas rig and chucking firebombs down on them.

    Where I MAY differ from you is how BAD I thought the characters in this story were. The ONLY one that really reasonated with me was Nux. The horror flashbacks that Max suffers from in this movie really didn’t work at all. And Furosa remained a boring unknown even by the time the movie ends, though their is look of gratitude and respec that Charilze Theron gives Tom Hardy’s character at the end of the movie that I thought was good acting on Charlize’s part.

    Overall, I thought this movie: “Mad Max: The Fury Road” was a good one, but one that has enough dull characters to keep it from progressing to the realm of being considered a classic.

    • charliesb

      FURY ROAD is after ROAD WARRIOR, not before.

      Furosa remained a boring unknown even by the time the movie ends

      I strongly disagree. I guess boring is opinion, but she’s not unknown. She was born in the green place, in what seemed to be a matriarchal society and was kidnapped along with her mother and probably other women by quite possibly Immortan himself. She ended up becoming his favourite Imperator who eventually at the pleading of his breeding Harem defied him and attempted to get them to freedom.

    • Nicholas J

      George Miller pulled a George Lucas

      I think that’s the first time since 1999 anyone has used that phrase in a positive way! Haha.

  • mulesandmud

    Nice when we can all agree on something.

    I swear, I may only post about FURY ROAD this week. There’s so much to learn from this one. How to hit the ground running. How to construct scenes with logical cause and effect while still toying with expectations. How to build theme into the mechanics of your story.

    It’s such a pleasure to watch a blockbuster interested in more than simply meeting expectations. Sequels, by definition, rarely feel like unique movie experiences, but the MAD MAX series has managed to reinvent itself every single time.

    MAD MAX – A raw, seat-of-your-pants 70’s exploitation movie about a cop whose family gets targeted by an insane biker gang. Made on almost zero budget with great stunts and hints of talent in the directing (Miller was an ER doctor at the time, just dipping a toe into filmmaking). There are signs that the world is in bad shape, but this is not explicitly a movie about an apocalypse.

    THE ROAD WARRIOR (MAD MAX 2) – Basically, the world has gone full holocaust between the first movie and this one. Everything is wasteland. Max is a wandering loner who gets caught in a fight between a small refinery and a roving band of crazies. Bigger budget, longer chases, crazier stunts, and astonishingly good (but still raw) action directing. After the runaway success of the first film, Miller actually decided he should go to film school before making another movie, and it shows. Lesson: you’re always learning, even after you ‘make it’.

    MAD MAX BEYOND THUNDERDOME – I’m in the minority here, but this is actually my favorite of the bunch. Max gets tangled up with a sleazy wasteland society called Bartertown, which exiles him to the deep desert, where he finds a group of kids living as an isolated tribe, whom he must then save from Bartertown. The world-building here is on a whole other level, and the direction is the kind of polished, virtuoso visual storytelling that only Spielberg was doing in the 80s.

    It’s amazing how the story structure and the world around it is never the same from one movie to the next. These movies are filled with callbacks to each other that help unify the series, but of course the main unifying factor is Max himself, who ends up as a sort of Yojimbo-type who wanders into other people’s problems and reluctantly helps solve them.

    [WARNING: THERE BE SPOILERS AHEAD]

    The structure of FURY ROAD is brilliant. Max is clearly identified as our hero, but then gets sidelined as a prisoner of the bad guys, until his story eventually dovetails with Furiosa’s.

    Making Max a prisoner at the beginning of the story accomplishes so many things. It subverts our expectations from the very first scene, where we are surprised to see the War Boys catch up to Max right away, crash his car, and catch him so easily.

    But we the audience know that main characters are pretty much invincible, especially when their name is in the title, so even that horrific crash doesn’t scare us too much.

    So the movie surprises us a second scene when Max tries to escape from custody of the War Boys in their citadel. We think ‘Okay, they caught him that first time, but this time he’ll definitely get away.’

    Except he doesn’t, because this movie is playing us like a fiddle.

    Now we’re really confused. There’s a very special kind of dramatic irony going on here, since we know this is Max’s movie and it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out and gets back on the road, but he keeps getting thrown back in the cage. So when will he get out? And how?

    Answer: not by escaping, but rather by becoming the blood-donating hood ornament of a pursuit car driven by Nux the sick War Boy.

    That’s storytelling, people. A distinct situation with a unique problem followed by an unexpected solution that is completely logical within the confines of its world.

    So even though Max makes it out into the world and begins to close in on the main plot, he’s still a prisoner. The suspense and ironies are all still there, but the plot is rapidly accelerating, and we’re on the edge of our seat waiting to see how he’ll finally get out, and what this had to do with everything else we’ve been watching.

    Meanwhile, as while we wait for Max to ramp up to full speed, Furiosa drives the main plot, and no one complains because things moves fast and the scenes are fucking awesome.

    Like I said, I could talk about this one all week, and probably will. More to follow.

    • charliesb

      Count me in the minority. I too loved BEYOND THE THUNDERDOME. And the Yojimbo reference is spot on.

    • Felip Serra

      I wholeheartedly agree with your assessment of “Thunderdome” and include myself in the same minority. Whereas I have always admired “Road Warrior” it never fully resonated on an emotional level. I probably haven’t seen “Thunderdome” in 10 or so years but can still recall entire scenes vividly and admiringly. Thanks Mules.

    • ripleyy

      Completely agree. I love how every single scene is constructed. There is urgency and stakes all build into every individual frame and that’s why this sets apart from every other action movie to come out at this time.

      MILD SPOILERS (FOR EARLY ON):

      After Max and Nux crash, Max is still chained to him. With the incoming convoy approaching in the distance, we wait eagerly as the tension builds. Every second wasted, that convoy is getting closer. Max tries to get the mask off, but can’t. Tries a shotgun. Doesn’t work. Next scene is Max, with Nux, trying to highjack the War Machine… with the shotgun.

      Even when the fight with Furiosa breaks out, Max is still chained to Nux. When Nux awakens, he is still chained and that convoy is getting mightily close. It’s only time. Plus, Nux wants Max for himself so there is a fight from three sides.

      That scene will be the stand out in that movie for me. Everything works. Urgency, dramatic irony with the shotgun, the stakes, the tension – it was, among others, so well thought out.

      A lesser writer wouldn’t do half of that.

      • Nicholas J

        What’s the dramatic irony with the shotgun you’re referring to?

        • ripleyy

          It doesn’t work. Yet, Max uses it as a weapon to gain his side of the bargain (in this case, getting cutters to cut the chain belonging to the mask). It doesn’t work, he knows it doesn’t work but they don’t know that.

          So the dramatic irony (while technically not dramatic irony at all, considering Max is in on it) is that we know the shotgun is useless but we’re curious how far he can go with it.

          • Nicholas J

            That’s what I thought, but wasn’t sure. Couldn’t remember if it didn’t work or not, or maybe I missed that, and was too busy staring at the hot pregnant women.

      • Lucid Walk

        I agree, that fight was the stand-out scene of the movie.

        In fact, dare I say it, that was one of the best fights scenes I’ve ever scene in any movie. And it was all because a million things were working against Max: he was chained up, he was chained up to an enemy who could wake up at any second, he had to bluff with the shotgun, he was short on time since the convoy was getting closer, and he was fighting six other people.

    • Fish Tank Festival

      Also a huge fan of THUNDERDOME and remember most of it as if it were released yesterday. I even remember trailer!

      Still looking forward to FURY ROAD though, wifey is holding me up. :(

  • S.C.

    OT but WOW:

  • https://twitter.com/deanmaxbrooks deanb

    Saw this in 3D at the Arc. Absolutely amazing. It was like living inside some crazy nightmare for two hours. Probably the best action film since Winter Soldier.

    I agree the ending felt weak. I think it was missing that extra mission sequence like in Aliens when Ripley encounters the queen, and the ensuing battle. Furiosa does battle and defeat Joe, but I wanted a bigger showdown than a simple “unmasking.” I hated the guy.

    Aside from that, talk about subverting expectations. I thought the pregnant girl would become central, then boom, she’s gone. I thought the trailer showed Max escaping on the hook. Nope.

  • Nicholas J

    One thing I loved about the film is how it treats the audience as intelligent. There is no pandering or talking down to or over-explaining plot intricacies. Very little exposition to be found.

    Blood bags aren’t explained. Valhalla, paint huffing, Gas Town, the Citadel, etc, none of these things are explained.

    We are left to figure things out for ourselves, by seeing the story in motion.

    And you might think this would make things confusing, but it doesn’t. By not muddling up the plot with needless exposition, it streamlines the story, and at the same time, gives everything else room to breathe.

    In comparison go watch something like The Phantom Menace or The Avengers or Dark Knight Rises, and see how much time is spent detailing every little plot detail and character motivation, and how much more confusing it makes everything. Not to mention how much it can kill momentum and bore the viewer if not done properly.

    This movie was 2 hours long and I felt like I was in the theater for 40 minutes.

    • http://insideechenrysbrain.typepad.com/inside_the_brain_of_ec_he/ E.C. Henry

      Great points. You have a keen mind.

      • HRV

        Sometimes there simply is no explaining of weird things, like spraying one’s mouth with chrome paint to bring out the frenzy.

        • Brainiac138

          There was actually a pretty interesting discussion about this as folks were leaving the theater. It was pretty great to see complete strangers interact with one another and dissect a film’s details. Consensus among them was that spray paint on the face somehow gives glory to Immorten Joe and his breathing mask.

    • Casper Chris

      Beware though:

      I’ve found that in screenwriting, it’s sometimes a good idea to err on the side of over-explaining if you have an intricate plot. For the sake of clarity. Remember that your script is a blueprint. No one wants to pass on your script or make your movie, if they don’t get your big end twist or get lost after 20 pages. Sometimes a reader/director needs a little hand-holding. Then the director can always dial things back later (as Ridley Scott did with Gladiator for instance). Viewers are often more perceptive than readers.

      • Nicholas J

        Good point. This is a relatively straight forward plot, set in a complex world. So maybe my point isn’t as much about plot exposition as it is about world building?

        Lots of movies feel the need to explain their world rather than just let you live in it. This one does the latter. Not saying that way is inherently better, but it worked great in this case.

        • Casper Chris

          Yea, I think that’s an important distinction. I haven’t watched this movie yet, but I know exactly what you mean.

          As a script example, A Killing On Carnival Row did a good job of sucking you into its detailed world without a lot of tiring world-building exposition.

          • Nicholas J

            Or Empire Strikes Back vs. Phantom Menace!

            I feel like Carson has posted something about this very thing in the past, using those two movies as examples…

          • Casper Chris

            Sounds like Carson!

        • Ninjaneer

          That is an excellent thought: Plot exposition vs Universe exposition

          I had never consciously separated those out before but it seems like a good dividing line when considering how much exposition is needed.

          It’ll be interesting when watching/reading the next dozen or so movies or scripts to see if that approach is taken in the better movies vs the not so good movies.

    • carsonreeves1

      It’s true. I noticed this as well. Miller is very brave in that he doesn’t explain everything. Very much goes back to his minimalist approach in the original Mad Max, where barely anything was said.

      Then again, it’s easier to do this when you’re also the director. You don’t need to explain because the person you’re passing it on to already knows everything.

      • Poe_Serling

        “…it’s easier to do this when you’re also the director. You don’t need to
        explain because the person you’re passing it on to already knows
        everything.”

        Pretty much the definition of a mastermind – which the above poster proclaims Miller is in regard to this project. ;-)

  • charliesb
  • S.C.
  • S.C.

  • Mike.H

    What’s truly impressive is Pitch Perfect 2 with $70M opening weekend — Production budget of $28M trumped this $200 million dollar behemoth!

    Paramount Big Wigs have been doing cartwheels since Friday and massive sightings of Elizabeth Banks @ Rodeo drive buying up all things not bolted down with store pheasants in tow.

    … and yes, you’ve guessed correctly: PP 3 has been confirmed and green lit.

    • MGE3

      PP2 is Universal.

  • HRV

    Carson, you still have access to the script, so the rest of us can read?

  • hickeyyy

    Interesting to note: This film was actually mapped out on 3,500 different storyboards. Everything was pictures and planned BEFORE the screenplay was even written. The writer Nico Lathouris was provided these storyboards and then wrote the story around it.

    • S.C.
      • Casper Chris

        What do you mean? Storyboarding IS pre-vis.

        • S.C.

          This is what most people mean now by pre-vis.

          • Casper Chris

            That’s an animatic.

            Animatics and storyboards are both pre-vis.

          • S.C.

            Animatic

            Pre-vis.

            The term pre-vis is more pre-valent now.

          • Casper Chris

            That’s just another type of animatic. An animatic can be as simple as a drawn 2D storyboard that’s been sequenced in a video editor. Or it can be done as claymation, 3D animation, whatever.

            http://www.thefreedictionary.com/animatic

      • carsonreeves1

        Are there more of these somewhere?

    • Nicholas J

      Hahaha, great point. I’d much rather spend my $$ on seeing Mad Max again over something like Jurassic World. At least Ant-Man looks a little more creative and inspired, rather than your typical superhero fare.

      • hickeyyy

        Don’t get me wrong – I’m going to be putting money down to see all those. The problem is, I’ll be comparing everything to Max. I think it was irresponsible of the studio to release the best movie of the summer at the beginning of summer. At least give us a late-August release so I can enjoy everything else. Haha.

    • mulesandmud

      Not even joking. Saw it Friday, then went back the next night to see it in 3D without hesitation. First time I’ve ever done anything like that.

      It was hard to tell who was crazier: me, or everybody else.

      • charliesb

        Same here, saw it Friday, saw it again today, seeing it again next Thursday with a friend who was out of town this weekend and hasn’t seen it yet.

      • hickeyyy

        Was the 3d worth it? I saw it in 2d. I don’t have an issue with motion sickness or anything, I just prefer to not watch movies with glasses on my head.

    • carsonreeves1

      I was wondering about the storyboards. It seemed like each chase sequence had about a thousand shots. There is no way you can wing that. You have to plan meticulously. And they did.

      • hickeyyy

        Yeah, they absolutely did. And it shows. If only every film was given that attention to detail.

  • Nicholas J

    Question for the structure experts out there…

    Was the point where they
    (SPOILER)
    discover that the Green Place no longer existed considered the midpoint of the film? Or is that just the dark moment before Plot Point 2/Break Into Act 3, which was then the decision to return to the Citadel? What would you say is the midpoint of the film then if that’s the case?

    • mulesandmud

      The Green Place reveal is definitely more like the break into three. The midpoint, both dramatically and in running time, is the death of the lead wife Splendid and the aftermath when they literally journey into night.

      Hard to tell with this one because the first hour feels like 15 minutes.

      • Nicholas J

        Sounds about right. It’s hard to remember what happened where, because like you said, it all moved so fast.

        • HRV

          I agree: The end of act two and the first goal, then the new goal and beginning of act three.

      • Pooh Bear

        Sounds correct, usually midpoints have a death with a key character and/or results as a point of no return. So before Splendid died, Max and Furiosa could’ve just dropped the harem off and kept going, more than likely would not have been chased. Splendid’s death was an ‘all in’ for our MC’s.

        I was thinking the same thing myself when we hit the female biker gang. The false win (heading into the Salt flats) and third act saviors for lack of a better term. If you remember Jack Reacher, the Robert Duval character, Gunny, was a third act ally. Anyway, I was thinking when they hit that point of going back, initially might have been the midpoint but it was just a mega-go juice-climax.

        I will say I was disappointed in the lack of Australian accents in this one.

    • S.C.

      Here’s a comprehensive plot of the film.

      http://www.themoviespoiler.com/2015Spoilers/MadMaxFury.html

      From what I can tell, the discovery that Green Place doesn’t exist happens at the end of Act II concurrent with what Michael Hauge (and myself, for what it’s worth) call the Major Setback.

      http://dramatica.com/resources/articles/how-and-why-hague-six-stage.gif

      But that’s based on measuring the text of the spoiler.

  • Casper Chris

    Even with all those vapid action movies being crammed down our throats, this does sound like a breath of fresh air. Looking forward to watch it when it premieres in my country.

  • Nicholas J

    Yes! I was thinking that I was watching it. This is punk rock movie making. (But with a much bigger budget.)

  • S.C.

    OT: Too young to see a R-rated movie? Try these:

    CONAN THE ADVENTURER

    RAMBO: THE FORCE OF FREEDOM

    ROBOCOP

    TOXIC AVENGER

    • Citizen M

      Here’s a sequel it’s time for…

      • S.C.

        Bruce Willis in DIE ALREADY:

        I like posting videos. Saves typing.

  • S.C.
  • SinclareRose

    OT: Hey everybody. It’s been months since I’ve been on here. I got a full time job and, well, there went all my free time. I finally figured out how to juggle everything and I was able to catch back up. I’ve really missed you guys!
    It doesn’t seem as though much has changed. Same old hijinks and family drama. ;) It looks like there’s a few new people that have been contributing. That’s great!
    Carson’s articles are still amazing. I always know that if I’m stuck I can just read or reread one of them and it will always help me out.
    I am sad, though, I miss the cartoons…..
    I was curious about an article Carson wrote a while back. The one on Whitey Bulger, Black Mass. It was posted on April 26th. I’ve read that one three times now and — well, did Carson really write that one? There’s no mention of a guest writer. It just really didn’t sound like him. The cadence was off; there was an overabundance of question marks; words I’ve never seen him use before (thus and scooched); and what really got me thinking this is that he didn’t use some form of, “with that said” in that article. He uses it almost every article. Of course, I’m probably totally wrong because there’s a ton of question marks and no ‘with that said’ reference in the above article either. The other one just didn’t sound like him to me. Ahh well.
    I’m going to try to chime in more often. Of course, we’re going on vaycay tomorrow for two weeks. L.A. area – Disneyland here we come!!
    Great article today, Carson!

    • S.C.

      Firstly, welcome back!

      The BLACK MASS review doesn’t appear to be written by a guest reviewer, but I think Carson does vary his style depending on what he’s reviewing. He also uses a lot of humor, so it would be much like if you are I were to write a screenplay in the style of, let’s say, a Tarantino or a Shane Black.

      May the lines at Disneyland by short, and the drinks long!

      • SinclareRose

        Thank you! I’m sure you’re right about him varying his style. Just thought I’d ask.

    • Casper Chris

      Welcome back.

      Are you insinuating Carson used a *gulp* ghostwriter?

      As for the cartoons (loved those too), not sure Carson and the cartoon-maker are still together. Thought I read something…

    • Malibo Jackk

      Happens to me when I’ve been drinking.
      (Some of my best stuff.)

  • Scott Strybos

    This has been the only film I’ve been interested in seeing (and maybe Tomorrowland). So happy that the consensus is this film is amazing. Will be seeing it tomorrow.

  • S.C.

    FREE MAD MAX RIP-OFFS HOMAGES (I do not vouch for the quality of these movies)

  • S.C.

    Sure, sure… I mean, look it seems like a lot of people on this comments board enjoyed the film, and that’s cool. But some have complained about structural problems, an unusual ending, dual protagonist, etc. I’m just wondering, was Terry Hayes the man who brought everything together on the earlier films? Would FURY ROAD have benefited from a Terry Hayes rewrite? We may never know.

  • Poe_Serling

    OT: Just saw this and thought a few people here might be interested in this online opportunity:

    http://www.tcm.com/this-month/movie-news.html?id=1090690&name=TCM-and-Ball-State-University-Offer-Free-Online-Film-Noir-Course&banner=1

    The free course is in conjunction with TCM’s Summer of Darkness program slate, which will feature over 100 film noir classics for fans of this genre.

    • S.C.

      That’s a lot of movies to watch!

      Here’s a few to begin with:

  • Casper Chris

    Wait, when did A Killing On Carnival Row become a TV series?

    • Nicholas J

      Earlier this year. For as much love as that script gets, the news that it was finally getting to a screen was pretty quiet. I only saw it randomly through Twitter. Anyway, hopefully it’s good.

      • Casper Chris

        It’s been pending as a movie for a few years. Now I just saw on IMDb that it’s been changed to “TV series”. Interesting.

    • S.C.
  • S.C.

    OT: European screenwriter? Can’t make Park City?

    Sundance screenwriting lab in Italy: eight European screenwriters to be selected for the July 8-11 in session in Capalbio, Tuscany

    http://variety.com/2015/film/festivals/cannes-sundance-screenwriting-lab-launches-in-italy-1201499387/

  • peisley

    Oh, Carson, a spoiler alert for the reveal, please! We all haven’t seen it yet.

    • S.C.

      I think if you don’t want FURY ROAD spoiled, you shouldn’t come on today.

      I skip some of the Monday reviews for that reason, but even though I haven’t seen this yet, I was interested in discussing the film’s disappointing weekend. B+….

      • Midnight Luck

        I’m not looking.
        I hate spoil’d things.

        • S.C.

          Wondering where you were!

  • http://antixpress.com/ kidbaron

    Carson’s review nailed it. The 3d was an added touch even though it was a conversion. I’m going to see it in 2d and see if there’s a different feel, especially with the one moment in the film that screams to me: “we did this for the 3d.”

  • S.C.

    A NEGATIVE review of FURY ROAD. Many here may disagree, but the guy makes some good points.

    http://www.dailydot.com/entertainment/mad-max-fury-road-is-bad/

    • hickeyyy

      I couldn’t disagree with a review any more than I do this one, Scott.

      “Why did Furiosa pick this moment to free the five wives? “

      Let me explain: This is where the movie is. Without her deciding this moment, we don’t have a plot. That is why this is the moment the movie begins.

      “Did she have a plan beyond “turning left” or a destination beyond, “a green place”?”

      Why would there be a destination beyond the green place? The goal of the movie is to GET THERE. That’s like asking what the Hobbits planned to do after they get to Mordor. Well, that’s the goal. That’s where we are headed. Why do we need to know where we go AFTER that?

      “In one particularly attractive set piece, the car chase that is the movie runs into an electric sandstorm. This section looks very cool, but the risks inside the storm are unclear. For some cars this storm means instant death and destruction; for others not so much. Is it good fortune that lets our heroes make it through (relatively) unscathed?”

      Risks unclear?! There is no visibility in a dust storm, there was a fucking tornado inside of it, and they crashed their car. There you have it. Do we really need to explain to this person why a giant dust storm and a tornado are dangerous?! Would you really liked some line of dialogue in the middle of a chase scene where one of the War Boys looks at another and says “oh no! a dust storm! This is going to cause us to not be able to see and maybe we will crash!”

      The world of Mad Max: Fury Road sure is designed! …“we worked hard on this, please like our art!” “Oh look,” you’re supposed to say with a gasp, “the gas pedal is a foot measuring device! From a shoe store in the old country, which for me is the present! How clever!” But it’s cleverness without meaning …except that everything seems to exist in the world fully formed. Where are the junkyards in the landscape from which this shit is being pulled?

      Come on now. Really? We really need to SEE a junkyard so you will believe it exists? There is no reason to go to a junkyard because the plot is ESCAPE as fast as possible. You are being chased. Get out of there. Why would they stop at a goddamn junkyard?!

      This review is giving me heartburn, and it only gets worse…

      “All of which is to say, why were any of these people doing any of this?”

      This is the most blatantly obvious thing in the movie. These women are sex slaves. Why would they want to escape? Because they are fucking sex slaves and don’t want to be. Why does Furiosa do this? She knows of a place where they will all be safe and they don’t have to be under the rule of a tyrant. It is her home where she was stolen from and she wants to go back. Why does Max do this? He’s trying to get away from the people that just imprisoned him. This is his best opportunity. He tried to leave them behind but couldn’t drive the truck without them.

      If you can’t follow the plot of a movie that is legitimately just people escaping, how the hell are you going to follow more complicated films like a Coherence or a Primer?

      This is clearly a review that solely exists to say there is a negative review out there. In fact, at the end, there is a link to another review, on the same site, of someone who liked it. This site doesn’t even have the balls to have one review. They need to cater to people that do AND don’t like the movie. Pure click bait.

      Not to attack you either, Scott, I think you contribute a bunch to the site. But in another comment you mention that you haven’t seen the movie yet. How can you say that any of this review has any good points?

      Of course, that’s just my opinion…

  • S.C.

    Sent!

  • S.C.

    MAD MAX 5 to be called… Mad Max: The Wasteland.

    http://www.slashfilm.com/george-miller-mad-max-fury-road-sequel/

    If it gets made.

  • S.C.

    • Malibo Jackk

      Cool.

  • andyjaxfl

    Sent!!

  • andyjaxfl

    Just sent it!!

  • carsonreeves1

    This will be the first Blu-Ray I buy in 5 years just so I can see all the behind-the-scenes stuff.

    • HRV

      Ditto.

  • BellBlaq

    OT: Anyone care (or able) to send along Brian Duffield’s MONSTER PROBLEMS?
    bell.blaq atyahoo dotcom

    • charliesb

      Sent!

      • BellBlaq

        Thanks!

  • Lucid Walk

    Some actors are such a**holes.

    “Boo-hoo! I’m not getting paid as much as them.” SHUT THE F#%!# UP! You’re getting paid millions of dollars to star in a movie. Most people around the world have never even seen a million dollars. They’re cleaning up the sewers for breadcrumbs. They’re taking care of individuals with Autism for minimum wage. They’re putting their lives on the line while you lot sit comfortably in your castles and Teslas.

    If I ever acquired a fortune (hefty paycheck, lottery ticket, trust fund, etc.), I’d treat it like a superpower. I can use it for the good of others (charity, shelter, food, education), and they’d call me a hero. I wouldn’t want to do what certain celebrities do and spend it all on myself. Of course, I’d set myself up. I’d live in a two-story building in a suburban neighborhood, not a five-story mansion on my own mountain.

    Actors are privileged with things most people in the world will never have. And some of them don’t bother sharing those things, because they want it all for themselves. Disgusting

  • Trey Wilson

    There was no script for this film. Stop telling lies, Carson.

  • Andrew Yoo

    Can any writing peer send me the script?
    andrew(dot)yoo(at)rogers(dot)com.
    Cheers!

  • Film_Shark

    ‘Fury Road’ is the best action movie of 2015… it’s that good. If any budding writer wants a lesson in action screenwriting, study this film. It really drills down the adage, “show me don’t tell me” writing. The dialogue is so minimal and director George Miller never wants the audience to get lost in exposition. He wants you to get invested in the characters through some of the best stunt work and action sequences put on film.

    I also like the female empowerment message once we meet Furiosa. Charlize Theron gives one of her best performances. She’s a real badass and one of the most memorable heroine’s since Ripley in ‘Alien.’ How ‘Picture Perfect’ beat this action masterpiece is beyond me!

    My review – http://www.examiner.com/review/mad-max-fury-road-movie-review-1

  • http://www.cupulablogs.com/madmaxandrade Tiago Andrade

    David Mazzuchelli once said that a huge percentage of what is written/created for a story (he was actually talking about comics, but I guess it applies to movies as well) doesn’t even make it to the page – but it’s essential to shape what does.

  • carsonreeves1

    Are you actually accusing a guy whose site is dedicated to finding and reviewing scripts that he didn’t read this script?

    Stick around. You might figure out how this site works.

  • FFF

    I think Max is the true main character because he’s the one who change at the end. He’s the one who has a weakness to overcome. He’s the one who come up with THE PLAN when all is lost : he’s changed. He was enslaved and now he’s free. He was selfish and now he has a goal, and want to help the community. The road back is an interesting part of a true hero’s jurney. Furiosa is an ally, she’s there to help Max to change.

  • jbird669

    I’d love to read a copy too please! jedi_116@yahoo.com