When Gia and Jacey watch TV together, they live-tweet it. Because they’re pathologically sarcastic and feel the need to share that with others. What keeps this from occurring when the ladies watch first-run movies? Being separated by hundreds of miles and the fact that the one movie theatre in Jacey’s hometown WILL eject you if they see you tweeting during a movie.
So here are their observations – collected and collated after their separate viewings – about “Mad Max: Fury Road,”
Also known as: “We Are Here to F*** Up Your Patriarchy and Chew Bubblegum. And We’re All Out of Bubblegum.”
(Fair warning: SPOILERS AHOY. ALL OF THE SPOILERS.)
Jacey: Sigh. Damn it, Mad Max. I just wanted to watch my beloved Tom Hardy be all dusty and sweaty for two hours, whilst chewing on his too-luscious-to-be-believed lips. (Which I did, gladly.) I didn’t want to spend that time in deep contemplation of gender issues and my feelings about feminism. I’ll be honest, I walked out after the credits, feeling vaguely traumatized. Not because it wasn’t crazy imaginative and beautifully shot, but just… like I’d been on an epic, thrilling roller coaster ride and all of the other passengers were my family members and they spent the entire ride screaming at me.
Gia: I have so many amazing feelings about the latest installment of the Mad Max franchise. This movie was everything I didn’t know I wanted in a movie and I’m not even a rabid Tom Hardy fan like Jacey is. I’ll be honest, I wasn’t planning on going to see this one because, to me, nothing could top Thunderdome and Tina Turner’s amazeballs Auntie Entity. But then I saw a trailer with the Doof in it (you know, the guy in the Johnny Jump-Up playing a flame-throwing guitar in front of a wall of speakers on a CAR) and I was all like, “Fine. Take my money.”
Jacey: I have so many questions about that. I mean, what song was he playing? Or was it just power chords for hours and hours? Did he take requests? Did he get mad when someone asked him to play Freebird?
Gia: Well, technically, he already had a lighter. Also, in the spirit of full disclosure, I wasn’t planning on seeing Jurassic World, but then I saw the raptors running alongside Chris Pratt on his motorcycle and I was all like “oh, it’s a pack of adorable murderbabies and they’ve imprinted on Pratt, I must see this movie five times.” So there’s that too.
Jacey: Our next band should be called “Chris and the Murderbabies.” Like Josie and the Pussycats, but scarier.
Gia: Headcanon accepted. Anyway, back to Fury Road. Epic Backstory – Okay, so…Max went cray-cray after his family was killed in front of him, nuclear annihilation, blahblah, bad things…
Jacey: I so wanted to call this movie, “Mad Max: Road to Well-Deserved PTSD.”
Gia: Cut to now with Max racing away from a bunch of crazy-coiffed and made up people on various cars and bikes in ridiculous pseudo-bondage gear, so basically just like the 80’s movies. Is that supposed to be his Interceptor from the first one? I loved that car. And I can tell I’m going to love this movie. Max is captured, tattooed with a much-revered “O Neg- Universal Donor” stamp (how do they find this out????), attempts to escape—it doesn’t go well in part due to a PTSD flashback of a creepy kid—and then he’s put in a cage. Welp, that wasn’t how I thought that would go.
Jacey: Shaking my head at how he just accepted the full back-piece tattoo, but the minute they wanted to brand him, he was like, “Hey, now, that’s crossing the line!”
Also, am I the only one who had this awful thought of “What I think I look like with my shirt off vs. what I actually look like with my shirt off” when evil cult leader/water entrepreneur Immortan Joe strapped on his fake plastic six-pack abs over his bulbous pasty body?
Joe is bad news. He’s figured out a way to pump water from an underground well he calls “Aquacola,” which he’s used to set himself up as the Evil Overlord of everybody. Joe has created a society where women are basically dairy cows and boys are taught the best thing they could possibly do is die in the service of Joe while high on sparkly silver inhalant. So basically, this apocalyptic hellscape is result of the cola wars. Immortan Joe is a beverage company executive gone power mad.
Gia: Cut to Imperator Furiosa. Oh sweet Jesus and the Virgin Mary, I love this movie. She is a badass, she drives the war rig and she will put up with exactly zero of anyone’s crap. Perfect woman is perfect. While she’s getting ready for the supply run, Max is being used as a blood bag for some sickly mechanic named Nux who has two—what are those, goiters? growths? nodules?—on his neck.
Jacey: Pretty sure they’re tumors and he named them Larry and Barry, then tattooed little smilie faces on them. That’s how hard it is to make friends in the Max-pocalypse.
Gia: He’s a weakling or something and his partner in crime went ahead and nabbed his steering wheel from the Wheel of Wheels or whatever the hell that thing was and they fight over some Valhalla/Chromist bullshit and then Nux says he’ll just take his blood bag on the road with him. Which leads us to Tom Hardy as the world’s prettiest hood ornament. Also Max hasn’t had a lot of dialogue (not that it is a bad thing—movies like this need very little dialogue if done well) and spends a lot of time in a metal mask. Because he’s mad, y’all.
Jacey: I can’t make out what Max is muttering to himself while strapped to the hood as Nux’s blood supply, but I’m pretty sure it’s, “Everything is awful. I hate you all.”
And this is where the deep thoughts started, because this exchange happened in my head:
Me: “Wow, Max looks super-uncomfortable and resentful, being talked about and treated like an object with no voice or rights.”
Part of my brain in charge of non-tumblr-related thinking: “Well, he’s not used being treated like an object with no voice or rights.”
Me: “Yeah, because he’s a man.”
Non-tumblr brain: “Which means…”
Me: “That as a woman I am familiar with that concept and it wouldn’t be as noticeable to me now, much less in the Max-pocalypse.”
Non-tumblr brain: “Look at you go.”
Me: “Oh, come on. I just wanted to watch Tom Hardy wear leather!”
Gia: Ahem, back to the story. Why are all the war boys being called out? Because, as it turns out, Imperator Furiosa has kidnapped the resident crazeballs nastyass villain’s harem of wives/breeding stock and absconded—like a boss—with them because dude is gross and also a massive asscravat.
Jacey: A pause to define Gia’s original insult. “Asscravat (n) – a person who wears his or her own ass as a necktie.”
Gia: We get to see his harem—basically a bank vault except instead of money it stores people he’s decided that he owns. Written on the walls are catchy slogans, like WE ARE NOT THINGS, and YOU ARE AN ASSHAT OF GALACTIC PROPORTIONS, WTF KIND OF A NAME IS JOE FOR A VILLAIN?, and TAKE A BATH AND MAYBE FLOSS ONCE IN AWHILE, DUDE (I could be paraphrasing here) which pisses Joe right the hell off because he doesn’t like to be reminded of his poor dental hygiene issues. Away we go on the fury road!
Jacey: PS, I can’t help but think that they might have had a better chance of escape if they hadn’t spent so much time on mocking graffiti.
Gia: Agreed. Also, where did he manage to get a PIANO from in the Max-pocalypse? Furiosa takes a detour and deals with random nitwittery of dune-buggy privateers that are after the war rig because she a true delight in all things and takes the chase into a giant freaking storm in an effort to outrun pursuit. Meanwhile, Max is duking it out with Nux for the right to choose the radio station on this epic road trip to Hell and ends up driving into the storm after Furiosa while still chained to Nux and the car.
Jacey: I did get a funny sort of “babysitter and his maniacal charge” feeling from watching Max’s increasingly horrified expression as Nux drove like a maniac, then poured gas all over himself and the car, then lit a flare. Like, “Come on, I’m not even supposed to be here today!”
Gia: The effects in this part are kind of cool and also sort of ridiculous. There are tornados inside of the sandstorm and lightning and other cool stuff that rips apart cars, but miraculously leaves Max’s skin intact. Oh, and it would have been way awesomer to have a shark pop out of one of the tornados, or—even better—a sandworm from Dune, because why not try to reboot two incredibly cracked out 80’s movies at the same time? And the Australian outback/desert does look a lot like Arrakis.
Jacey: Wait, you didn’t see the shark?
Gia: Boo. After the storm, we see the war rig taking a break and a bevy of lovely ladies affording themselves of the accommodations, most specifically BOLT CUTTERS to get rid of the world’s most horrifying chastity belt.
Jacey: I may have uttered some really awful cusswords when I saw the close up of the belts. The people behind me in the theatre were not impressed with me. But I wasn’t impressed with a man in his sixties spending the previews explaining the feminist themes of the movie to me. So we were even.
Also, can we talk wardrobe? Ladies, you’re running around in the desert, hopping on an off of trucks with spinning belts and wheels and stuff, maybe don’t drape yourself in long, flimsy swags of fabric that can easily get caught in those spinning belts and wheels and stuff. And kill you.
Gia: Max rolls up, dragging a door and Nux behind him and demands bolt cutters to free his face from the metal mask he’s been forced to wear. Things go predictably wrong when Nux wakes up from his convenient coma, freaks out, tries to attack, fails miserably, all while Joe and his Party Ponies appear on the horizon.
TO THE WAR RIG!
Furiosa is giving everyone orders because she’s the HBIC and nobody better forget that. Max looks at her like a puppy that finally found his owner. Like, seriously, there’s a part where you can see a little heart appear above his head. Fighty McFight.
Here’s where I have to provide an aside. I have a competence kink. Like I love seeing people being smart and competent and CAPABLE.
Jacey: That’s not a kink. I think that’s just called being an adult attracted to other adults. Just sayin.
Gia: They don’t have to be warriors but make them useful mammals—even if they start out as ornaments. And that’s what the concubines/wives do. Splendid uses herself and unborn baby as a human frickin’ shield when it looks like ol’ Joe is drawing a bead on Furiosa. Toast can sort bullets for guns and reload. Capable takes watch and figures out a way to make Nux useful, which is saying A LOT. Furiosa is a ball of competent unto herself. Max is still sort of functioning as a junkyard dog—his whole role right now is to fuck shit up, which he also does quite adeptly.
Unfortunately, we lose Splendid and in a scene that drove home just how horrible it was for those ladies in Joe’s harem (and how bad it would have been for their children), we see that she’s only useful so long as she can breed. Granted, I also nearly yelled “From my mother’s womb untimely ripped” because I have a Shakespeare thing (I really want a Macduff/Macbeth scene where Macduff yells that line all passionate and Macbeth just makes a disgusted face and says, “Dude, TMI.” And then they make out), but whatever. Splendid and her son are history.
Jacey: Joe’s fixated on a 100 percent healthy male heir, which is sort of an unrealistic standard given the toxic environment. One of his sons, while having the body mass of a professional wrestler, has some sort of breathing issue that requires him to he on oxygen 24-7. Which brings me to another question – where the hell are they getting all of this medical grade oxygen? They don’t have WATER. How do they have compressed oxygen? Also, how did he manage to spend that much time in the gym, when there is no water and I’m assuming, no Planet Fitness locations?
Gia: It’s the Max-pocalypse. Stop expecting things to make sense! Meanwhile Furiosa had bribed some extreme BMXers to blow some rock formations and block the pass they have to traverse (which is how we lose Splendid) and manage to make it through to this wasteland place that is all mud and crows and weird stick/stilt people. The baddie from the Bullet Farm is after them and again with the competence kink! Max sucks at handling long range snipes, but Furiosa is the jam at them, so he hands her the gun with the last bullet in it without saying a word and she uses his body as a glorified human tripod and shoots the lights out on Bullet Farm’s car, which has the added benefit of blinding the crazy fool in charge. Said crazy fool proceeds to continue shooting up the landscape despite the fact that his aim is well and truly fracked.
Jacey: Yeah, when he declared himself the blind Scales of Justice and just started shooting at random, I thought, “Damn it, Ed, you’re drunk again. Go home.”
Nux and Capable (also known and Elvis Presley’s badass granddaughter) share a sweet little kiss. I can’t help but think, “Well, that escalated quickly.” Then again, Capable’s “husband” is a creepy old dude with stick-on abs and a cola-god complex. So I don’t blame her for latching on to the first sparkly-mouthed, reasonably attractive guy in her age group she’s met in a while.
Gia: More escaping. The war rig folks end up in more desert where they meet up with all that remains of the tribe of women Furiosa went looking for.
Jacey: I did appreciate that when Max saw a beautiful naked woman tied to a weird altar and screaming for help, he did not think, “Hey, free naked lady!” He knows there’s no such thing as a free naked lady in the Max-pocalypse. Those ladies flip it around on you and choke you to death with their thighs.
Gia: There is no green land and the women are barely surviving. This comes as a massive blow to Furiosa, who takes a much needed time out to clear her head, and then they decide to use their motorcycles and try to make it across the salt flats in the hopes of finding farmable land. Max decides this is a risky move and suggests they all double back and attack the Citadel where there is water, food, arable land, and a whole lot of people who might not be thrilled with Joe’s current regime. It is also currently undefended.
So…you guess it. Back to the WAR RIG!
There’s an epic road battle once Joe and his remaining minions realize where Max, Furiosa, and the gang are headed. We lose some folks along the way and nearly lose a few of the brides, but Furiosa is having none of that mess and basically Ragehulks out and rips Joe’s mask off of his face, along with…well…most of his face and kills him thus saving everyone.
Jacey: Please note she did all this while suffering a major stab wound, which required Max to give her a blood transfusion. So at this point, Max is like four pints down. Would someone please get Max some orange juice and a cookie? Max needs a cookie! And a t-shirt that says, “I wasn’t even supposed to be here today!”
Gia: Have I mentioned Imperator Furiosa is a badass? Because she is. Anyway, they head to the Citadel to free everyone from Joe’s tyranny and water is released.
Jacey: Where the goons who previously enforced Joe’s cruel regime with the ruthless efficiency of the Spanish Inquisition are suddenly like, “Oh, ladies, you want to be treated like people now? That’s cool. We’re totally OK with that.” Again, it may have something to do with the fact that Furiosa presents them with Joe’s faceless body and says, “See that? Yeah, I did that. Open the gates.”
Gia: I have concerns about the water consumption: like, is it a really good idea to just let loose the pumps and spray everyone instead of say, instituting a bucket a day system per person or something? What about all the runoff wasted? Oh, what the hell am I talking about?! This is a Mad Max movie! I should be wondering where they got all of their bondage gear and make up. And the flame throwing guitar!
Jacey: That’s OK, I was sitting there during the blood transfusion scene thinking, “Yeah, she may survive the stab wound and the collapsed lung, but you didn’t sterilize anything when you jabbed that needle in her arm. Also, every one of you has tetanus. I’m sure of it.”
Gia: Also, how did they know people’s blood types? I am still a little bothered by that. So yeah, all’s well that ends well and that good stuff. Furiosa and her band of lady misfits will hopefully live happily ever after in the desert without any crazy ass masked freakshows to bother them for a while.
Jacey: Until the sequel: “Mad Max: Everything Is Basically OK Now.”
Gia: Until everybody dies of tetanus.