Was Joe's body torn apart out of hatred... or for relics, having finally ascended? Or maybe it was just sheer desperation for food.
Joe's level of attachment to his wives and the nature of that attachment is seen very differently by different viewers. Of particular note is his response to the death of Angharad and her baby; entries on this very page cannot agree as to whether he feels and expressed genuine grief over her loss, and that of their child or is instead completely disinterested outside of the lost material investment. The fact that his face is covered by a mask leaves his emotions open to a great deal of interpretation.
Does Joe truly believe in the neo-Viking cult he leads, or did he simply make it up and play the part? Is he a case of Believing Their Own Lies? If he is pretending, then is he doing it out of a lust for power, or because he believes himself to be a necessary evil?
Did Furiosa help the Wives escape the Citadel out of compassion, or did she do so to exact revenge against Immortan Joe?
Were the Vuvalini really the peaceful society the remnants claim it to be, or does the old womens' eagerness to kill and reaction to the Dag's joke about thinking they'd be above all that suggest a warlike culture like every other faction in the outback?
Anvilicious: The movie is not subtle about its feminist message. The bad guys are all men. Every woman is a good guy. Even the title character is a Supporting Protagonist to a strong, independent woman who ultimately takes power from a patriarchal regime. An early Armor-Piercing Question is "who killed the world?" with the implication that it's the men in power who are the cause of the Crapsack World of the setting.
Award Snub: Charlize Theron missing out on even a nomination for Best Actress at the Golden Globes and at the Academy; Nicholas Hoult not being nominated as Best Supporting Actor; Junkie XL not getting a Best Score nomination; and, of course, the film not winning any "big" rewards like aforementioned Best Director and Best Picture.
Awesome Music: Junkie XL's exhilarating score plays a huge roll in fleshing out the action of the movie and amplifying the madness even further. Bonus points for the diegetic music played by the Doof Warrior on his double-necked flamethrower guitar.
The film's audience is torn asunder by factions divided by their reading of the film's stance on gender politics. On one side you have a crowd hailing it as a Feminist Fantasy, another in the middle calling it "not-misogynist" but not outright feminist, and a very vocal faction on the other end claiming it's outright misandrist.
Whether it is as good as the original trilogy. There are many people who think Fury Road was just an overblown cartoonish flick while others consider it the best movie in the series. The competition is especially tight between Fury Road and Road Warrior.
Max as the Supporting Protagonist. This is either a bold and clever choice to give focus to a new character, or an upstaging of the established hero which hurts the movie. Others claim this isn't especially different from his roles in Road Warrior and Thunderdome.
Complete Monster: Immortan Joe is an elderly, sickly, brutal tyrant who has forged a kingdom in the Wasteland. In the prequel comic, it is revealed Joe was a marauder who murdered others for their supplies, enslaving the women and killing the men and children. Upon founding his kingdom, Joe selects people to join it, but forces the women to become breeding slaves so their milk may be harvested, and the men to run along treadmills to power the turbines. Joe indoctrinates the strong young men into the Warboys: drug-addicted cultist fanatics who long to die in his cause. The most beautiful women are kept as Joe's personal sex slaves and forced to bear his children; after three failed attempts at bearing a healthy boy, they find themselves exiled to certain death in the desert wastes. When several of his wives escape, Joe spares no resource to hunt them down and return them, though he is willing to kill one rather than allow her to be rescued, showing that he views them solely as his property.
The War Boyz: berserk, half-naked suicidal warriors painted white who suck up gasoline in their mouths and spit it into the intake of their junkyard-tanks to overclock the engines, wielding grenade-tipped spears. And they kick ass. They're Warhammer 40,000 Orks, only lacking green skin and not havingquiteas much dakka.
Nux himself, too, in spite of his Butt-Monkey tendencies early in the movie. Of all the War Boys, he gets closest to the War Rig, with a man strapped to the front of his car, and manages to drive through a giant lightning sandstorm where everyone else was sucked up into a tornado or set on fire. Remember how he managed to wrestle that wheel from Slit on the basis that he was the driver? Yeah, Nux deserves to be driver for the shit he manages to pull through the movie. Did we mention he's terminally ill?
Coma the Doof Warrior. Rides atop a massive rolling amplifier, shredding out mean riffs on a double necked guitar/flamethrower like a beefed-up cavalier. Necessary? No. Awesome? HELL YEAH!
Designated Hero: The Vuvalini, portrayed as the most heroic faction, prey on travelers and, from what little we see of them, seem to have an insular culture and a high distrust of men. Part of this can be chalked up to the necessities of survival in a harsh environment, the overall patriarchal domination of this world (see: Anvilicious trope) leading to its destruction. It's certainly possible that absent that pressure, they'll rule the Citadel in a more egalitarian manner than Joe's regime, but it's left up to audience interpretation.
That one polecat assassin known only as "Black Mask". He is totally silent, wears a creepy baby doll head on the back of his mask, and shows unusual toughness and deadliness for a mook. He manages to shoot Max with an arrow which only fails to pierce his skull due to a lucky hallucination that made him raise his hand; when Furiosa stabs him and he gets thrown off the rig by the Vuvalini, he clings to the vehicle, climbs back and near fatally stabs Furiosa with the blade she drove into his shoulder.
Epileptic Trees: The Max in this film is actually the Feral Kid from The Road Warrior as an adult having taken his hero's name, neatly explaining the actor change and the long gap between films. There are a quite a few actors and directors who support this theory, notably including Quentin Tarantino.
Alternatively, a popular fan theory is that Max is immortal.
Given that he's played by the same actor as Toecutter from the first movie, some fans believe that Immortan Joe is Toecutter, having survived his apparent horrific death after being run over by a truck. It would certainly explain where Joe's horrible injuries came from...
Even Better Sequel: Bucking the trend of sequels/reboots/remakes/revivals that get flak for being lesser films (or simply for their nature), Fury Road is widely agreed to be one of the most successful series revivals in recent memory, and better than the last film Beyond Thunderdome. It's currently sitting at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes, the same as The Road Warrior which was the previously uncontested best of the series. For comparison, that's two percentage points higher than Schindler's List. It's also the highest-grossing entry of the series by far (even adjusting for inflation). In addition, it's the first in the series to receive any Oscar attention, let alone a nomination for Best Picture. Matter of fact, only weeks after its release, people were already calling it one of the greatest action movies ever made.
There's also a distinct Japanese variation; older anime fans and manga-ka will correct younger fans who believe Fury Road was inspired by Fist of the North Star — truth being the exact same thing as the Borderlands example, that the latter was very much inspired by the former's predecessors.
Fans of Fury Road and Avengers: Age of Ultron have been incredibly bitter toward one another with the films being released only a couple weeks apart, with the common arguments being over which had better action and story overall.
Pitch Perfect 2 was released on the same day and received a higher box office total during their opening weekend. Fans of Fury Road have a lot to say about that.
At least on social media websites such as Tumblr or YouTube, there is some competition between fans of Fury Road and Tomorrowland and as to whether or not the idea of a hopeful future is a better message, or whether apocalyptic fiction like Mad Max is better.
Though some reviewers have pointed out that the core message is the same; having great dreams aren't enough - you have to go out and make them reality.
Max: Hope is a mistake. If you can't fix what is broken, you'll go insane. Nix: In every moment, there is the possibility of a better future, but you people won't believe it! And because you won't believe it, you won't do what is necessary to make it a reality. So you dwell on this terrible future and you resign yourselves to it. And for one reason; because that future doesn't ask anything of you, today.
In a similar vein, both movies make the claim that though bad things have a source - Immortan Joe, the Monitor - and removing that source will improve the world, the real reason bad things happen is because most people are too apathetic to resist it.
Nux: We're not to blame! Angharad: Then who killed the world? Nix: You gave up. That's not the Monitor's fault. That's yours.
Fury Road fans have become quite amicable with fans of Blade Runner 2049, thanks to both of them being long-delayed sequels to iconic 80's sci-fi franchises that haven't had a movie in over 30 years. Neither film was expected to live up to the legacy established by their predecessors, but upon release, were greeted with overwhelmingly positive reviews by critics and fans alike, and even picked up some Academy Awards in the process.
All of the Wives, but it's probably safe to say that no one should be deriding Rosie Huntington-Whiteley as just another talentless model-turned actor after this movie, as she expertly portrays Angharad's intelligence, compassion, and bravery as the charismatic natural leader of the Wives and leaves quite an impression despite the fact that she dies only halfway through the movie.
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley's previous role was in Transformers: Dark of the Moon, replacing Megan Fox as the main character's girlfriend. She received no small amount of derision as a model with no previous major acting roles and was viewed as being cast for pure Eye Candy to replace a difficult actress. Here, she gives a solid performance as Splendid Angharad, who has the most prominent role of all the wives.
There have been a lot of comparisons to Judge Dredd, especially with Brendan McCarthy co-authoring the script. Mark Sexton, who did the art on the tie in comics, would later do the art for a Judge Dredd story. Bonus points for the inclusion of a Dredd poster in Max's backstory comic.
Tom Hardy battles a massive man reliant on some breathing apparatus and figures out that he should take it apart first - basically reversing the situation when Tom Hardy was in The Dark Knight Rises. The very last scene is a massive platform lifting the Deuteragonist out of view, just like the final shot of The Dark Knight Rises.
The group are surrounded by sand and at one point Nux points out that they could escape by climbing to high ground. Anakin Skywalker wouldn't like to be on the Fury Road.
The Dag and Cheedo are in nearly constant contact with each other all through the movie, frequently holding hands; it's never clear whether they're meant to be a couple or if the Dag is more like a protective big sister to Cheedo.
Nux and Slit. Their introductory scene has them naked from the chest up (well, the usual for a War Boy) butting their heads and grunting at each other. Then there's Slit's rage at Nux "traitoring" Immortan Joe.
Immortan Joe is an absolutely disgusting Complete Monster, which makes him fit this trope perfectly and makes his Karmic Death all the more satisfying.
The People Eater is a fat, slovenly, cowardly and thoroughly disgusting creep who wears a very off-putting suit with cut-out nipple rings, is extremely unpleasant to look at and might very well be a cannibal given his gout and the hideous growths on his legs. He was creepy before, but callously running downValkyrie while she protects one of her fallen sisters and laughing while he did so had audiences everywhere baying for his blood. When Max used him as a Bulletproof Human Shield and blew up his truck a few minutes later, the cheers were deafening. It's enhanced by his one redeeming quality as the Only Sane Man on the villain's side, who thinks Immortan is wasting his time and should have just let them go and keep the status quo.note He's proven right. Had Immortan Joe just let them go, either they're forced to go on an endless trek into the nothingness or come back to the Citadel. Either way, they lose.
The "Feminist Mad Max" meme. Kind of like "Good Guy Greg", but focused on Max respectfully helping Furiosa.
"WITNESS!!!" note (when a War Boy is about to go out in suicide attack and his comrades answer to him) Several people have been responding to Nux's Heroic Sacrifice with variations of "I will witness you!" and "I have witnessed you!"
Spraying Color Spray to be all Shiny and Chrome when you enter Valhalla. The word "Chrome" being used to mean anything good or cool is also on the rise.
It's become popular to state on online message boards that the movie is actually a non-fiction documentary depicting a normal day in Australia.note Going along with Australia's Memetic BadassDeath World reputation online.
Thanks to Immortan Joe, declarations of "MEDIOCRE!" have become popular among fans of the film, especially when used against the movie's detractors.
Captioning extremely silly MacGyvered vehicles with "Gonna die historic on the Fury Road."
"Uh, Uh... that's bait.◊" note A .gif of Max's reaction to an Obvious Trap has taken on a life of its own in message board circles, usually used as a way to point out Flame Bait or obvious trolling
From the director ofBabeandHappy Feetnote It's become fairly popular to note the irony of the fact that a blisteringly popular, explosively successful, R-Rated violent action extravaganza was directed by a 70-year old man who hasn't made a film rated higher than PG since The Witches of Eastwick in 1987.
"He was scanning the horizon!": used as a reaction to people getting overexcited at their crush/idol/etc. looking at them. Especially popular with the "Senpai noticed me!" meme.
Misaimed Fandom: The War Boys have garnered this. The movie doesn't hide that their culture is completely toxic and self-destructive, but they've become a Fountain of Memes regardless.
Moral Event Horizon: The People Eater has one during the Final Battlewhen he runs over Valkyrie while chuckling to himself. He even appears to be getting off on it.
Most Wonderful Sound: The War Rig's horn. It just sounds so powerful, like a cross between the roar of some giant animal and an electric guitar riff. Going along with the above, if you imagine the sort of horn an Ork WAAAGH! would put on a Wartrukk, that's it.
When Angharad asks Nux, "Who killed the world?" it's meant to be a With Us or Against UsArmor-Piercing Question, but Nux's age and the fact that he was apparently raised in Immortan Joe's warrior cult means he would have been an infant at most and probably not born yetnote probably... the timeline is rather fluid when the Unspecified Apocalypse went down, so it comes across as a rather inane and senseless accusation hurled at mindless Cannon Fodder. The way her voice cracks while saying it doesn't help.
When Nux and Slit say "You traitored him!" First when Nux gets kicked off the Rig, then when Slit finds Nux helping out the group.
The name of the all-female faction is the "Vuvalini". Some consider this name to be on-the-nose, and possibly part of the movie's feminist overtones, because the first five letters can be easily rearranged into the name of a part of female anatomy. Whether or not this was intentional on the filmaker's part is unknown. Others find the name more amusing than intended due to its similarity to the word "vuvuzuela".
This exchange when Immortan Joe cradles the corpse of Splendid Angharad:
Narm Charm: The entire film runs on it, as the insanely messed-up over the top setting and characters would be ridiculous if it weren't so terrifying and badass.
Case in point: The Bullet Farmer chasing the War Rig. An old man dressed entirely in bandoliers (including a judge's wig), riding on a sports car with tank treads, firing an absurd amount of shots at nothing and screaming at the top of his lungs while epic classical music plays. It's so over-the-top that it blows past Narm and circles back into pure awesomeness again.
Never Found the Body: We are never shown the War Rig exploding, and uncertain if Word of God confirmed it, but judging by the rigs hardiness there is a slim chance Nux may have survived, if this series wasn't about unconnected tales, there would be a good excuse for him to turn up again.
Morsov, a War Boy who gets shot in the head with a crossbow before chroming himself and dive-bombing the Buzzards who shot him. His death is given such ceremony from those around, and it serves as a microcosm of the batshit Crazy Awesome mindset the War Boys live and die by. In their words: "WITNESS HIM!"
The creepy polecat mook, nicknamed "Baby Doll" because of the creepy baby's head on the back of his mask, who appears for about five minutes, survives being thrown off the rig, shoots Max with a crossbow and mortally wounds Furiosa.
Though he appears more than once, the Bullet Farmer only gets prominently focused on in one scene during which Max kills him offscreen, but given that the scene in question features him screaming atthe top ofhis lungs and dual-wielding machine guns aboard a tank-sports car hybrid vehicle (with operamusic playing) it's hard to say he doesn't make an impression.
Out of the Ghetto: Is becoming one for action films. Being commercially successful and wildly acclaimed critically, and winning 6 Oscars. It currently sits at a 97% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, which, for those who are keeping score, is the same percentage point approval as Schindler's List.
Sci Fi Ghetto: More like "post-apocalyptic action epic ghetto", but nonetheless averted to hell and back. The list of awards that Fury Road won, let alone was nominated for, is frankly too expansive to list here, but it went home with nominations and awards from the International Federation of Film Critics, the Golden Globes and even the Oscars, where it was nominated for ten awards including Best Picture, of which it won Six.
A recursive one, since Gorkamorka is essentially "The Road Warrior: the Tabletop Game", but if you imagine the War Boys as Warhammer 40,000's Orks (whichisnotexactlyhard) then this becomes the best Gorkamorka adaptation ever made. Even moreso if you read the Digganobz expansion, where pale humans with an affinity for technology really, really want to be orks and act accordingly.
It might also be a better adaptation of Tank Girl than its own movie was. Hell, this chart◊ shows the comparison!
It also feels very 2000 AD, especially compared to any time Judge Dredd ventures into the Cursed Earth. Having Brendan McCarthy, a routine contributor to the comic, as a co-writer of the script and a Shout-Out to Dredd appear in the tie-in comics has probably helped this more than a fair amount.
A man rescuing women and girls who were imprisoned as breeding slaves by a hypermasculine war cult in an apocalyptic wasteland? The manga Fist of the North Star featured a similar plotline during the Golan Organization story arc decades before.
Immortan Joe's back is covered with sores. Several War Boys, such as Nux, are stricken with cancer and have tumors visibly bulging out of their skin.
Furiosa shoots a random mook at one point with an explosive crossbow bolt, which blows a hole in his chest and exposes his bloody ribcage. Yeesh.
Immortan Joe's extremely gruesome death where he loses his face.
The "worn out" breeders being milked, and the milk being consumed on camera immediately after we see where it just came from.
Max washing his face, covered in someone else's blood, in the aforementioned milk.
During the climax, Max is attacked by a couple of Joe's thugs, one of whom has a chainsaw. Max defends himself by blocking the chainsaw with a nearby human shield. Ouch.
The People Eater has a massively swollen foot, implied to be the result of elephantiasis.
Streisand Effect: An article in the infamous woman-hating blog "Return Of Kings"note The site is also known for claiming rape shouldn't be illegal on private property, for instance called for a boycott of Mad Max: Fury Road, accusing it of being "feminist propaganda" and that the filmmakers "would destroy a classic of American culture", implying they were newcomers to the series. Mad Max is, of course, Australian and proud of it, and the film is written and directed by the original creator. This call to boycott had a huge impact in the media, mainly to make fun of how stupid that idea was. The end result was to draw attention to the film as a feminist masterpiece in quarters that may not otherwise have noticed it, and draw attention to the website as a hate site, which probably had something to do with its "voluntary hiatus" some time later (along with being officially listed as a hate group by the SPLC).
Too Cool to Live: Once again, the Doof Warrior, whose wagon slams into the War Rig after Nux flips it, his guitar flying out of the wreckage.
Valkyrie, the only Action Girl in the movie who can match Furiosa blow for blow, goes down fighting with the rest of her sisters.
Unintentionally Unsympathetic: The Vuvalini are introduced via a pretty ruthless Honey Trap, are immediately suspicious of the first men they meet, imply that a Child by Rape would be less "ugly" if it were a girl and one of them states that she's killed every person she's ever met in the wasteland.
What an Idiot!: In a post-apocalyptic desert, everyone wastes water like crazy. It's understandable for Joe, who just wants to play god and not actually provide his subjects with it. It also somehow makes sense at the end, in the euphoria. But throughout the road war, the fugitives in the War Rig never bother to spare the water they have. Even if it's a quite lot (the war rig's cistern filled), they have no idea how long they'll be spending out with no other drinkable water.
The trailer was very well-received, as was the announcement that the film would largely use practical effects over CGI.
The movie itself. The Mad Max movies, as wonderfully ridiculous as they were, were considered a product of the '80s. Almost no one expected Mad Max: Fury Road to be even a fraction as successful as it ended up being. But it did. And it has created a new generation of fans for an iconic series.
The French version calls the War Rig "Porte-Guerre" (technically War-Carrier, but Warbringer is just as accurate) and translates "blood bag" as "globulard" (globule meaning "blood cell"), which sounds like a vague insult that meshes with the atmosphere. It also translates the term "guzzolene" designating the fuel as "gaspi" (shorthand for "gaspillage", meaning "waste"), bringing in mind a public service campaign from the 1979 oil crisis (coincidentally the year the first Mad Max was released) urging people to save fuel by declaring "la chasse au gaspi" (waste-hunt).
The Polish version (otherwise MEDIOCRE) provides a nice one with Machina Wojenna (The War Machine), which in Polish has less vehicular connotations and might actually mean "The Thing That Keeps the War Going".