UPDATE: Milo has come in with his take on the film…


So originally this article was going to be about the newest Tomb Raider game and a couple of Dead or Alive characters. The aim was to show that just because a female heroine is beautiful didn’t mean she was just wall paper.

However, tonight I just got back from watching the new Mad Max film, and I felt inspired. So whether or not I’ll be able to pull off that article will have to wait, cause I want to talk about just how well Mad Max did with portraying men and women.

A lovely day indeed…

Now first up, I have no clue what the bullshit that rad fems are stirring up about this movie is about and I don’t wanna know. So, tossing that drama llama out after I beat it to death, let’s look at the movie proper.

It stars a man named Max, who lives in a world that has seen the death of civilization. Max is a man who lives with the guilt of failing to save the people he cared about. Since that time he has been wandering the wastelands of the world trying to survive. The movie starts with his capture by a warlord who controls a sizable source of water and the escape attempt of a woman who has, somehow, worked her way into the higher echelons of power, and is making off with the breeders, women who are healthy and beautiful enough for the Warlord to have children with. Max is caught up in this because he is a blood bag, i. e. some kind of squishy meat shield…

Fans of Mad Max films know it always sucks to be Max…

Through the mutual wish to stay alive and escape Max teams up with the women to combat the raiding force chasing them. And let’s face it, when the bad guy has his own travelling rock band to play a theme for his fights you need all the help you can get…

Because why the hell not?

First off, I found this movie to be more complex and well put together than it, at first, seems to be. We have three types of male roles and three types of female roles. On the man’s side we see Max’s stoic hyper competence that can be found in many an action movie…

It took him a whole nine hours to form a smile that wide…

The tyrannical warlord who conquers and takes everything he sees and wants…

Is that pie? You gonna give me some you little shit?

And finally the man who  hasn’t come into his own role that you see in most action movies. You know the ones, They usually play second fiddle to the hero and, if they are lucky, by the end have become, or start to become, men in their own right…

Though he should probably get a bit more meat on his bones and grow some hair before he becomes badass.

On the women’s side we have three roles. The female warrior who has fought her way to a position of respect and power…

download (1)
Furiosa is unamused with your failure at life.

And the more nurturing and comforting roles of women…

Why hello there beautiful women in the middle of a wasteland!

This is going to get complicated, so bare with me. Max embodies the typical American male action hero. He doesn’t talk much, and when he does it’s always something meaningful. He’s hypercompetent in that everything he does helps the situation significantly, and his being haunted by the people he let down in the past shows that he takes responsibility seriously. Max is a man of morals and integrity forced to live in a world where there is none. His counterpart is Furiosa who is someone who survived by being vicious and raising through the ranks by being better than those around her.. Both are survivors with morals that they have carefully kept sequestered away only to be used for those that deserve it. In many ways they embody the ideal man and woman. As the movie progresses they form a partnership of equals that clearly states that together both are better than they are apart.

Then you have the Warlord, who is chasing them because he want’s his breeders back. Specifically, he want’s his favorite back who is bearing his child…

That would be the one in the front.

He represents the dominating form of masculinity. Where Max is the ideal of American manhood the Warlord is everything wrong with said manhood. He is obsessed with the passing of his legacy to a healthy son, the movie makes it clear that it’s a boy he is hoping for. He doesn’t even care for the woman beyond the fact she’s pretty to look at and that she could be carrying a son and he takes or destroys everything that is not his. Domineering and controlling is a polite way of describing him.

The woman he is focused on however, is the embodiment of a mother determined  to see her child’s future be anything more than barbarism. The movie makes it clear at several points that she is fearless when it comes to fighting for the freedom of herself and her child. It’s striking in that she embodies the mother who would do anything for the sake of a happy future for the life she carries and makes a good contrast to the father who is…not so admirable.

Last on this list is the secondary male role…

Oh ya…you…

This guy is meant to be the person we, the male audience, identify with. Where Max is what we aspire to and the Warlord is who we want to avoid being, Nux is who we are. We are introduced to him as a man who is eager for the fight and has bought completely into the the false religion the Warlord has built up around himself. The movie makes a point of showing him as being fearless, so he doesn’t lack for courage. But it’s only after he see’s his god, the Warlord, lose faith in him that he’s broken. He’s a man who want’s to fight for a cause and when that cause deserts him and he’s broken, who comforts him? One of the women from the escaping group. She is there to tell him it’s alright and to help him find another path, a better path to walk. Where Furiosa fights, and the Mother protects, this woman comforts and gives strength and support. Nux goes on to play a pivotal role in the movie and in doing so scores the win for Max and the others. In short Max and friends are civilization and the Warlord is barbarism.

My point here is this. There are three roles for each gender in this movie and they play off each other. Max is the heroic ideal man, the Warlord is the overbearing controlling man, and Nux is the mortal man, mortal as in he is us while Max and the Warlord are larger than life.

Meanwhile on the women’s side, we have the partner in Furiosa, the Mother in the Warlord’s favored, and the comforter in the woman who comforts Nux. All of them are reflections of what it is to be a man or woman in the world. Men can be heroic and fight and be domineering and lose their way and sacrifice themselves. Women can fight and protect and comfort and care. There are many roles in the world that men and women can both do just as well as the other and very few that they can’t.

This movie strongly reminded me of the simplistic action movies of the past. But the more I looked at it the more complex it became. Because ultimately it was making a statement. Neither Max or Nux or Furiosa could have saved the day all by themselves. They had to work together along with the other women they met along the way to survive and triumph.

It’s the same way in real life. Men and women have to work together to build the future. Anything other than that will lead to conflict. Arguing over who’s better than who is stupid, and has always been stupid. We’re in this for the long haul, we should probably try to get along.

  1. It is, indeed, a lot deeper than it seems. I mean whole books have been written on how people react to a failed prophesy.

  2. Now I’m actually interested in seeing this movie, and I had heard good praise before.

    Ralph, you should keep this guy.

  3. I really think I need a second watch of this movie. I sadly got to caught up in the whole bullshit MRA controversy (it wasn’t even them it was a stupid website but the media does what it always does and fucking lies) and was terrified about what this movie was going to be because the rad fems worshiped it. I thought the movie was great don’t get me wrong but 98% on Rotten Tomatoes…..ok I must be missing something here. I guess I was so scared that movie was going to get preachy or was expecting something more with it having that high of a score that when I got just a good Mad Max film I was disappointed sadly. Also Furiosa is great but to me she is absolutely nothing new so I don’t get the whole praise from rad fems. She is no different than Gamora. Also Sarah Connor and Ellen Ripley say hi. Then there are critics praising it for the lack of CGI (which is a bullshit argument in my opinion and a complete fucking lie but that is a whole other issue I won’t get into that’s the film production major person talking). I think if I give this a watch several months down the line with it on DVD and hopefully the hype dies down maybe I can actually see this movie for all it’s worth and actually enjoy it but for now I think the film is a fun ride but incredibly overrated. Now this doesn’t mean I can’t change my mind in the future. V for Vendetta was a very odd case for me. At first I didn’t like it and didn’t get it but the more I watch it the more I love it. To me that is a movie that gets better with each viewing so maybe Fury Road will be the same.

    1. It’s because, and this is just my guess, whenever somebody actually places a woman who can fight or does fight without being a sexy skin tight spy in a movie it somehow becomes something that came to be because of feminists, or SJW. Look at Ripley and Connor, nobody said “hey, they are here because those stupid rad fems”. Maybe I was too young back then when I first watched those movies but to me, they were my idols (and I’m glad you mentioned em), I didn’t know shit about feminism and I didn’t care, they were the epitome of badass, but also protective and gentle in their own way. They weren’t fearless, but they were strong to overcome any fear. For you, Furiosa may be nothing new, but for me it’s a rare throwback to nostalgia, to when I, as a little girl, had someone to admire, some kind of an idol to like when there was nothing else around but princesses (not that there is anything wrong with those, but I personally couldn’t relate). You say, well Furiosa is nothing new, she isn’t, neither is Mad Max, but they are both awesome, they are both nostalgic when it comes to representation of action characters. Until Ripley and Sarah I had no idea girls could be so badass, and I caught myself asking then “why? When it seems so natural now watching it?” and in a way those characters really shaped me, opened up a mental door in me, made me realize that I can be any way that I am and there is nothing wrong with that, that liking action, liking things like climbing trees, scraping knees and fighting with boys didn’t make me one, and didn’t make me less of a girl. They let me know that gender doesn’t dictate what I can or cannot like, or how I can and cannot act. Being born and raised in a country that is heavily influenced by Catholicism and tradition, they as characters, gave my mind freedom. Yes, in the end we are talking about “shallow” action movies and cliche, nothing new characters. But these had such a profound effect on me growing up, and I owe to them a lot of what I have become and done with my life and I hope some girls will look back at Furiosa the same way I look back at Ripley and Sarah.
      These are different times, poisoned by the SJW, but Furiosa is not the product of the SJW, she is someone that girls like me would naturally like and enjoy. If anything, shallow characters who no common woman can relate to like Lucy or Black Widow are more of an example of a forced SJW butting in (not because they are sexy but because of the way they are written and how they communicate, I am all for being sexy), it’s just like they are there because “we need a female action hero but we have no idea how to write one, but that doesn’t matter”.
      In conclusion this movie is not the greatest, maybe it is indeed overrated, but, looking from the perspective of somebody who grew up with Mad Max, Alien, Terminator, Matrix and so on, it’s a rare nostalgic gem in a sea of shallow, flashy hollywood bullshit. It gives something that has been missing for a long time. It takes me back to when I was just a little girl and there was none of this feminist, political, social justice bullshit, when things were simple, and I was just a girl admiring explosions and pretty ladies shooting guns not having a clue. This nostalgic simplicity where no SJW scream that everything should be done their way (like they can ever get to an agreement what their way is), or Sarkeesian preaching that all conflicts should be fixed trough diplomacy, or on the other hand, men saying how this is not feminine, or this is just feminist agenda (I consider myself an MRA and anti feminist, but I think some men now see feminist agenda in every single mention of girls being strong or in the spotlight). To a time where I would just sit back, and enjoy ass kicking. This is why this movie is great.

  4. ,,,good insights…life is seldom, if ever, a simple thing…prepare for a sales pitch th’ moment someone swears that it is…

  5. Furiosa is one of the best action characters seen in years. Maybe she’ll get her own spin off movie or something. Great movie, a hell of a lot fun. What an analysis. What a lovely analysis.

  6. But, but I read an article by Jessica Valenti that said that sexists hate Mad Max’s message and celebration of women. She also said that the Gamergate community are terrible sexists.

    This article conflicts with what a mainstream columnist tells me! How can you both like Mad Max and have an article on a Gamergate site?? You’re meant to be sexists but here you are praising a feminist movie!!

    Brb. Mind being blown.

  7. Meh. I find all the artwork and style of this new one that I’ve come across to be super off-putting. Add to that, I don’t really see any lead actors or actresses involved here to put off much of a compelling vibe and I’m just fine sticking with my 80s Mad Max featuring Mel instead of a money-grab that could have just had another title instead of a franchise tie-in. Then again, I haven’t seen the latest superman, either, and only discovered this week that the “last superman” wasn’t in 2006 (with Kevin Spacey) but that there was another one *since* then. So… Yeah, I guess I’m just too old to kind of give any fucks anymore unless something is so good it has blown the knobs off.

    1. Well, It’s so good it actually blow the knobs off. so go watch it, without giving any fucks about gender stuff and other “This film represent us” Bull shit.
      It’s really is just a good, action packed piece of beautifuly artsy cake.

  8. The “pro-feminism” message the wingnut feminists want people to believe this movie is about is the end-result of FemFrequency-type feminists enjoying a movie rife with that “toxic masculinity” and having to make make excuses for liking it.

  9. I saw the movie yesterday. Here’s my takeaway.

    It’s not a GREAT movie. Let’s be honest; it’s a two hour chase scene with brief bathroom breaks. That being said, some of us like that sort of thing. It’s great fun to watch with friends.

    I don’t see the ‘radfem’ aspect people have bitched about, either. Yes, Furiosa is one tough lady (and missing a hand and part of her arm to boot). Max is not exactly a wimp either, though. Yeah, he got zerged right at the start — 12 to 1 odds suck. He spends a chunk of the first act being an unwilling blood donor for Nux (hence the ‘blood bag’ appellation). And yet he continues to survive.

    Max also continues to have trouble with double-barrelled shotguns, poor guy. LOL 🙂

    Oh, there are other minor quibbles — the running gag about how the Brides never seem to get dirty (that might be some sort of metaphor for purity, I guess). But it’s hardly a feminist movie. It took all of them — Max, Furiosa, Nux, the old women — to save the Brides, and no one came out unscathed.

    1. I still don’t get how people are saying this.

      I’m anti feminist, and I’m not this silly about it.
      Feminist doesn’t AUTOMATICALLY mean “radfem misandry for every second”
      Was there an evil woman in the movie?
      Did “society” treat women poorly?
      Were women the driving force of the fight against the “patriarchy”?

      It was influenced by feminism.
      Deal with it.
      This doesn’t make it bad, it doesn’t mean it wasn’t also influenced by other things and it doesn’t mean that every single aspect of the film is exclusively feminist.
      I honestly cant understand why the strawman argument is being invoked to dismiss criticism.
      Return of Kings was being retarded.
      Welcome to a day ending in the letter Y.

      I like LOADS of things inspired or influenced by feminists.
      I even like lots of feminists.
      I still dislike feminism and have a whole heap of criticisms about it.
      Because those two things are not mutually exclusive 😛

      I’ll draw a comparison.
      “In Time” was a great movie imo (lots of people don’t seem to like it, guess it just pushed my political buttons :P)
      To me, it was a socialist movie, a critique on capitalism and the wage slavery many endure.
      I don’t think this is the only interpretation, and there was certainly more to the themes than “money bad mmkay”

  10. ” In many ways they(Max and Furiosa) embody the ideal man and woman.” Max maybe, but Furiosa not so very much. The babes embody the ideal woman for me.

    “In short Max and friends are civilization and the Warlord is barbarism.”
    I’m not so sure about that, i mean, those guys are pretty bad, but then we have the bullshit kumbaya ending where everyone get’s happy forever after, or until the resources depletes(which would happen way more faster since the warlord is dead). In short, i don’t there is a lot of civilization minded people in the movie, only selfish vs selfish.

    “The woman he is focused on however, is the embodiment of a mother
    determined to see her child’s future be anything more than barbarism.
    The movie makes it clear at several points that she is fearless when it
    comes to fighting for the freedom of herself and her child. It’s
    striking in that she embodies the mother who would do anything for the
    sake of a happy future for the life she carries and makes a good
    contrast to the father who is…not so admirable.”
    And in the end she kills herself and her son for being a careless retard and he mourns her dead while her friends don’t even look back, lol.

    And it’s funny how the media portrays Return of Kings as a Men’s Right website when it comes to help the movie sells tickets. Remember that the feminism’s angle and controversies was manufactured by the movie makers, and the media was more than willing to make headlines about it. Egalitarianism is just another form of feminism as well.

    1. In defense, when you’re being chased by a bazillion crazy fuckers on vehicles, ‘looking back’ isn’t even an option.

      1. There is no defense for using pregnant woman as human shield(or letting them use themselves). Then again, George Miller is a feminist, a talented feminist sure, but still a little sick of the mind.

  11. It is also amusing how the author of this guest post don’t have any negative role for the women while there is one for men. We have the rapist, the expandable beta male and beta max, while on the women side we have the badass girl, the badass mother and the badass “conforter”. You forgot the badass grannies and the badass battered wife

  12. It’s gynocentric to its core. It’s literally about saving the wombs, protecting the wombs at all costs.

    1. Milo at Breitbart says that manosphere sites “has branded this movie “feminist.” Yeah, not really, maybe part of the target audience(mostly men) reacted to this? http://i.imgur.com/SbCbcCI.jpg

      I also find this whole debate of “is Mad Max feminist or not?” pointless. Does it have ladies, men-with-tits (and grannies) fighting and killing people? If yes then congratulations, this is just your average movie with feminist themes and morals. If you like this sort of thing, then fine, not my business.

  13. As much as this is a great roundup, it’s still okay to be critical imo.
    We have a naive misguided man that supported evil until women changed him…. sounds pretty feministy to me 😛

    Warlord is patriarchy personified.
    The fact Max doesn’t fit comfortably into the “definitely feminist propaganda” is a silly standard to apply.

    What about the women?
    three positive roles.
    Women are virtuous, men are either evil or tools 😛
    Hell, MRAs will consistently point out that men really don’t care if they’re represented poorly, and often don’t notice. Men don’t take it personally.
    I can see why SOME in the manosphere would be critical, beyond the crowing of feminists over it and the consulting of a very shitty sex neg feminist who ALSO claimed it is a feminist film ^^
    I simply don’t think it’s so easy to dismiss the feminist influences.

    That doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing.
    We’re not fucking SJW.
    I like plenty of female empowerment stuff. Hell, I even liked some Spice Girls songs as a metalhead teenager. I don’t give enough of a shit about what others think of me to sweat being judged, so I’m perfectly happy to teach by neices and nephews how to dance the Macarana, to point them to all the awesome games/fiction I love (from more traditionalist fare openly and proudly feminist stuff. I’m anti feminist on principle, feminists can still be cool and the stuff they do can still be awesome)

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