Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
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Technically, this is a reboot. However, George Miller refuses to call the film either a sequel or a reboot and simply calls the film a "revisiting". Miller claimed that after the first Mad Max film he doesn't really see a continuity or set time frame between the films, although he would think of Fury Road as taking place after Thunderdome. In SXSW, George Miller also claimed that the previous three films exist in no real clear chronology, because they were always conceived as different films. Despite this, Miller did maintain consistency throughout the original three movies. In The Road Warrior for instance, the Feral Kid narrates Max's story from the first movie about how he lost his wife and child as a cop and then drifted off into the wasteland. Mel Gibson's Max still has the interceptor from the first movie, as well as a bandaged knee and leg brace from his gunshot wound at the end of the original. In Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, Max no longer has the interceptor (after it was destroyed in Road Warrior) and fuel has completely vanished, leaving Max pulling his new vehicle with camels and Bartertown using pig manure as a substitute. One of Max's pupils is also fully dilated from his eye injury in the second movie when his car flipped over. So even though Miller made the movies to work as standalone movies, he also made sure they connected and fit together too. Max having his Interceptor, and being much more feral, implies that Fury Road is more of a reboot than a direct sequel to the original trilogy.
Tom Hardy also spoke on this issue by saying,
We have to take it differently as George is taking it. It's a relaunch and revisit to the world. An entire restructuring. That's not to say that it's not picking up or leaving off from the Mad Max you know already, but it's a nice re-take on the entire world using the same character, depositing him in the same world but bringing him up to date by 30 years.
On the other hand, Charlize Theron also said that Hardy wasn't playing Mel Gibson's character. They just happen to be both named Max Rockatansky. In fact, Miller stated with the 30-year gap since the last film and a new actor playing the lead, it was just easier to do a new version of the film without maintaining any continuity. The easiest way Miller puts it is to think of each film as a "legend of the Road Warrior" meaning that each film is a story about Mad Max that happened, but perhaps told by different people and so some things are altered from each story.
The presence of Max's iconic "last of the V8 Interceptors" police car suggests that this film follows directly on from the original Mad Max. It was destroyed in Mad Max 2 implying that both it and Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome are in a separate storyline. However, in the original movie, Max had a son who was killed by the Toecutter's gang while in this film he's shown to have a lost a young girl (quite possibly not his daughter since she never calls him "dad" or "father" in the flashbacks). If you look closely or pause the movie, you can see that she was run down by Immortan Joe's war party. Edit
The film doesn't clearly explain Max Rockatansky's origin other than brief flashes of his presumed daughter being killed. However, in the original Mad Max he was the top driver of the Main Force Patrol (aka "The Bronze", a derogatory moniker used by the biker gangs Max tangles with), a national police force attempting to preserve order on Australia's highways as civilization begins to crumble. The film showed Max's family being run down on the road by a biker gang which led to him seeking revenge on those who murdered them, then heading out into the wastelands (the sequel suggested a nuclear war followed shortly afterwards, destroying an already crumbling society). A featurette on the character can be viewed here. Max also wears a near-identical outfit as he did at the end of Mad Max and the entirety of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. The right sleeve is cut off his jacket because a motorcycle ran over his arm and paramedics had to cut the sleeve off. He carries tools on him at all times for running repairs on his car. He drives the same modified police Interceptor. He also wears a leg brace due to being shot in the knee.
There is a fan theory that Max in this film is actually the Feral Kid from The Road Warrior and that he simply modeled his outfit and car from his idol, Max Rockatansky. The evidence in support of this is: When we first meet Max in this film, he has a very unkempt look (more so than Mel Gibson's Max ever did) with long shaggy hair and a beard. Throughout the film, Max says very little, often resorting to grunting or grumbling (which is all the Feral Kid did in Road Warrior until it was revealed at the end that he was the narrator, now an old man). Max's flashbacks in this film reveal he had a daughter who was run over by a gang but we don't see his wife at any point. The original Max had a wife and son who were run over by a motorcycle gang. We see several other people appear before Max in this film, people he failed to protect. These may have been surviving members of the group from the Road Warrior, of which the narrator mentions he became the leader. So it's possible the Feral Kid grew up, became the leader of the group and had a daughter, all of whom were killed, which led him to taking on the mantle of the Road Warrior, living in exile.
The counter-argument to this theory is that George Miller, the creator of the Mad Max universe, has said this character is Max Rockatansky. The opening narration by the character says,
My name is Max. My world is fire and blood. Once, I was a cop. A road warrior searching for a righteous cause. As the world fell, each of us in our own ways were broken. It was hard to tell who was more crazy... me... or everyone else.
This implies he is Max and has Max's background of being a police officer before the nuclear war. However, he could be telling this story to whomever is listening in order to pass off Max's background as his own. At the end of the film, he also tells Furiosa that his name is Max, though he says it in such a way that suggests that he may be trying to convince himself of it as much as her, or perhaps that he hasn't used it for so long that it seems strange to him. Edit
Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron): is a commander of the Citadel under the leadership of Immortan Joe. She was kidnapped from her home as a child and raised as a warrior. She never forgot her roots and decided to rescue Immortan Joe's "wives" and take them back to her homeland known as "The Green Place". A featurette on the character can be viewed here.
Nux (Nicholas Hoult): is one of Immortan Joe's "War Boys"; A group of Kamikaze soldiers (which they refer to as "Kamacrazee"), most of whom are fighting illnesses brought on by life in a toxic wasteland. Nux is weakened due to his illness and takes a captured Max as his "blood bag" on the mission to stop Furiosa. He is very eager to prove himself and die for Immortan Joe so he can "Live, die and live again" as he was raised to believe. A featurette on the character can be viewed here.
Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne): is the twisted, psychotic, overlord of the Citadel. He rules the wasteland because he controls the last of the area's resources, mainly fresh water. He is at an advanced age and has become increasingly sick and weak. He is desperate to father a child to be his worthy successor as all his previous attempts such as Rictus Erectus and Corpus Colossus leave something to be desired. He has taken some of the most beautiful women in the wasteland as his "brides" in order to father more children. A featurette on the character can be viewed here.
The Wives: Toast The Knowing (Zoë Kravitz), The Splendid Angharad (Rosie Huntington-Whiteley), Capable (Riley Keough), The Dag (Abbey Lee) and Cheedo The Fragile (Courtney Eaton) are Immortan Joe's "wives" who are among the most beautiful women in the wasteland. They are held captive by Immortan Joe and forced to bear his children. A featurette on the characters can be viewed here.
Slit (Josh Helman): is another Warboy in service to Immortan Joe, he is a friend and rival of Nux. They ride together in pursuit of Furiosa. He gets his name likely from the large Glasgow smile scar he has on his face.
Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones): is one of Immortan Joe's sons. While towering in height and hulking in muscle, he is also very simple-minded and child-like in nature. Edit
It was likely chrome spray-paint. It appears the War-Boys spray this in their mouths as part of a kamikaze ritual before "sacrificing" themselves for Immortan Joe. As Immortan Joe, Nux and Slit all say a varation of "Awaited at the gates of Valhalla, shiny and chrome...live, die and live again.", Valhalla being the Norse (Viking) version of heaven. This suggests that the War-Boys are raised to believe that by making themselves "shiny and chrome" before their deaths, they will enter the gates of Valhalla with the chrome spray on their mouths, showing those already in Valhalla that they achieved the ultimate glory and be given the chance to be reborn. Inhaling the paint fumes would get them high and remove any inhibitions they may have about committing suicide. The actual substance used for the paint was a liquid spray that came from a pastry shop and was used to decorate cakes. Edit
No. Other than having the same actor, Hugh Keayes-Byrne, the Toecutter and Joe have nothing in common. Immortan Joe was a military man, documented in a series of prequel comics released in conjunction with the film, while the Toecutter was a gang leader. The same actor playing two roles is nothing new in the Mad Max franchise. Bruce Spence starred as the unnamed Gyro Captain in Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior before playing the unrelated character Jedediah in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome. Edit
Yes. In March 2015, during an interview with Esquire magazine, Tom Hardy announced that he signed a contract to be attached as the main star Max in three more Mad Max films following Mad Max: Fury Road. The next installment is believed to be called "Mad Max: The Wasteland" according to Forbes magazine. An R-rated anime (Japanese style of animation) feature length Mad Max film had also been announced back in 2009. The animated film was said to be inspired by the anime film Akira (1988). However, no new information has been made since that announcement and the project is now believed to be cancelled. A Mad Max video game developed by Avalanche Studios has also been released in early September 2015 for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC published by Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment. Edit
Immortan Joe takes special care of his brides. He keeps them locked in a separate facility where they are obviously well-cared for. Joe makes sure they are clean, bathed regularly and even allow them to dye their hair and wear make-up. He also gives them "mother's milk" which is taken from the breasts of large women he keeps for that purpose. Edit
In 2014, early test screenings reports from Ain't It Cool News and some other sites indicated that the film was clearly within the confines of a PG-13 rating. However, the film was eventually rated R. In May 2015, George Miller indicated to askmen.com that a PG-13 version and a R-rated version had been shown separately in different test screenings; R-rated version tested better, and Warner Bros decided to release a R-rated version. Edit
Fury Road ends with the quote: "Where must we go, we who wander this wasteland, in search of our better selves? - The First History Man." The quote is fictional and implies a future time when people may speak about the characters of the film, including Max. Comic prequels to the film also include a History Man or "Wordburger" who tattoos stories on his body to preserve them for others to hear. Read more here. According to the Mad Max video game, The First History Man was the husband of Miss Giddy (a.k.a. The First History Woman) who appears in the film as the caretaker of Immortan Joe's brides. We see she also is covered head-to-toe in tattoos. Edit
Essentially the collapse of civilization and its gradual rebirth. In Mad Max we see society crumble, in Mad Max 2 we see the settlers begin oil production again, in Mad Max 3 we see Auntie begin trade once more with Bartertown and in Mad Max: Fury Road we see the rebirth of human rights with Max freeing the brides and sharing water with the masses. This is mirrored in Max himself who is essentially destroyed by the events of the first film and gradually regains his humanity in the sequels. Edit
At the beginning, as the War Boys are hooking up the trailers to the war rig, The Ace says "Today we're heading to gas town. Today we're hauling Aqua-Cola. Today we're haulin' produce! And today we're haulin' mother's milk!". We know the small pod at the back of the rig was full of gasoline, which Furiosa planned to barter to the Rock Riders. The actual tanker section must have been separated into different sections; aqua-cola(water), produce (food) and mother's milk (milk farmed from large-breasted women/new mothers). As the brides were able to hide in a hatch inside the tanker, it's likely the forward section had the produce in it. Edit