If it wasn’t for Mel Gibson meddlin’ with the space-time continuum… we wouldn’t even be in this mess!!
By Roman Watts
As of this writing we, as a species, have been struggling to survive in this desolate post-apocalyptic wasteland, devoid of even the most meager comforts and securities for three years, two months, nineteen days, nine hours, forty-four minutes …and counting. Existence is no longer gauged in elapsed time or personal achievement, however, but in a steady regression of everything we thought we had accomplished up until “the event”.
Or… has it been a cleansing?
Even acquired scientific knowledge gained from centuries of conscientiously observing the natural world and posing the age-old question, “WTF?” has begun to disintegrate. However unsupported by The Chronicles of Narnia our academic curiosity may have been, it has undoubtedly produced the world in which we now live. A world of blood… and fire.
As it turns out, we can no longer deny that such acquired knowledge is anything but a Monsanto Golden Delicious sprayed with the poison of our own wicked self-awareness, and because our selfish, nudist mutual ancestor (we’ll call her Kim) decided to go and break the Eden by taking advice from Cobra Commander (which goes to show that certain fungi was, most likely, not blacklisted in the garden of peace, love, and crotch-leaves), here we find ourselves… left behind in a world, some 7,000 years later, give or take (dinosaurs are just something Steven Spielberg and Orville Redenbacher cooked up to sell more popcorn), where homosexuals foolishly claim entitlement to cake, chicken, and pizza… and where Pitch Perfect 2 can out-gross, on opening weekend, the greatest documentary of our time: Mad Max: Fury Road. [editor’s note: due to an anti-defamation lawsuit that was ultimately thrown out of court, because it was officially ruled that all offended parties were “crazy as a bat in a brick $#!+house”, the film was briefly retitled Psychologically Fragile Max: Unfocused Feelings Of Aggression Road]
Blood and fire, indeed!
Since that catastrophic New Year’s Day at the dawn of the Year of Our Lord 2012, when the pious and righteous were finally rewarded for their years of diligently sacrificing so much basic cognitive reasoning, several documentary films, such as World War Z and We Bought A Zoo, have been produced in an attempt to capture the misery and degradation of what has befallen society since being handed over to those of us that regrettably disregarded the end-times revelation that Mel Gibson entrusted to Jaguar Paw when he traveled back in time to film Apocalypto and then channeled to the contemporary world through pithy highway billboards and John Cusack. (It’s always Mel Gibson’s fault, people… get used to it.)
Credit, of course, must be given to 2010’s The Book Of Eli for its clarion warning of what was to come. It was a deftly told tale of how Malcolm X bravely took stewardship of the one volume that could reignite the spark of humanity, 50 Shades Of Grey, and then protected it, at all cost, from the nefarious ambition of Count Dracula in order to deliver it safely into the capable and trustworthy hands of Caligula. [editor’s note: Mr. Watts does not, in fact, know what the %@#& he’s talking about… I mean, he spent a large portion of his childhood believing that Freddy Krueger was a Terminator.] Having witnessed the horrors that we have wrought upon ourselves, it’s scary now to think how accurately real life can sometimes imitate art. Yet, however important this masterpiece of precognitive cinema was with its cautionary depiction of a scorched and empty world wherein there seemingly remained no hope of literary salvation except for the inevitable publishing of yet another Nicholas Sparks novel, it pales at the sheer, unflinching investigative magnitude of George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road.
Not only does Mad Max truthfully depict the burnt and brutal landscape we now endure, it presents our daily struggles aptly filtered through the neck-snapping and sand-blasted tonal hues of every Anthrax album ever recorded having unprotected sex with the imagination of Clive Barker. Now, up until it became a fact of life, the thought of speeding through the open desert in vehicles that look like the drunken byproduct of a one night stand between Maximum Overdrive and Jay Leno’s garage, all the while jamming out to some dude wailing on a goddamn flame-throwing guitar… well, see, that was just the definition of awesome back in the day. Now, though… Now it’s . . .now . . . oh, who’re we kidding? It’s still %#@&ing donkey-balls awesome, is what it is!
Heavy metal immolation aside, the most startling thing about this candid film is finally getting a good personal look at that elusive warlord Immortan Joe, which, consequently, finally closed the book on the question raised in the three separate episodes of Where Are They Now? that focused on Karg from Masters Of The Universe.
As we all know from reading his bestselling memoir, Stop Calling Me Toecutter!, Joe had been inspired by an early exposure to Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory when making his bones as a fledgling Immortan and plastic body-cast and skullface model. We learn during the film that he opted, quite wisely after Roald Dahl’s estate threatened to kidnap his entire Harem, to christen his slave army “War Boys” instead of “Oompa Loompas” (plus, the scenery being what it is. . . orange and yellow. . . just isn’t done). Regardless of how you personally feel about the War Boys, I believe we all can agree they are far less terrifying than legions of dandy little singing Tyrion Lannisters.
The titular Max Rockatansky, or “Mad” Max as his closest friends (who all happen to be dead) like to call him, is gloriously on call throughout to enlighten, educate, and beat up a $#!+load of these pale underage motorheads, all the while grunting with the stoic authority of a less-articulate Groot. But, I assure you, this is absolutely as it should be, because Max says all he needs to say in the opening sequence while he’s taking a piss and eating a two-headed lizard he just stomped on like a boss. Any further discourse or disagreement thereafter is handled with the swift finality of wasteland justice. Much like in the better episodes of Full House.
This leaves us to discuss the feminist agenda that permeates this otherwise perfectly masculine explosion-fest. I mean, nothing against women. . . but they kind of suck and ruin everything. If this Imperator Furiosa broad hadn’t pulled a Roald Dahl and made off with Immortan Joe’s chicks, Max would still be happily hanging out, literally, with token heartthrob Nux (oh, I forgot to mention him, didn’t I? Oh, well… He’ll just make you cry, anyway) back at the War Boys Holiday Inn! Sure, he would have eventually bled to death, and wouldn’t have helped rid the world of the majority of Immortan Joe’s face, but, honestly… women, man… just when you’ve settled in for a quick seven-hour shotgun of Walker: Texas Ranger, here they come nagging about the laundry or trying to free a group of innocent girls from a life of sexual slavery and unspeakable acts of torture with no thought toward their own safety or survival.
Well, just strap me to a War Rig and call my nice, relaxing Saturday afternoon good and screwed! Women, man… women…
So, if you find yourself adrift and confused trying to figure out your own path in this new, desolate post-2012 frontier we all endure with mostly-toothless happy faces, do yourself a favor and afford your time and attention to Mad Max: Fury Road. It’ll make you see those dead shifting sands in a whole new light, or, at least, make you forget for a couple hours that you are, in fact, likely dying of thirst and consumption and that your life is nothing but an increasing vortex of misery incarnate… and, really, who can argue that those aren’t the prime ingredients for a lovely, lovely day?
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Roman Watts lives in the heart of The Danger Zone and firmly believes that Goose knew what he was getting himself into. Follow more of Mr. Watts general bite-sized smart-assery on Twitter (@roman_watts). Roman Watts don’t Facebook.