Last night I watched ‘Mad Max – Fury Road’, or at least, I put up with the first hour of it. Colour me old-fashioned if you will, but when someone says ‘film’ to me, I imagine a meshing together of things like plot, characters, emotional involvement and some kind of interest in events as they unfold. This had none of these, that I could see. The audio-visual equivalent of a stranger ramming a handful of cutlery into your face while they giggle hysterically.
What it did have was flames, revving engines and explosions. After sixty minutes of this sort of thing, it struck me that I cared little or not at all about any of the characters. I didn’t like even one of them enough to want them to succeed and/or live and I didn’t even hate anyone enough to hope they’d die, perish or be gang-fucked by rabid baboons. So I left the room, abandoning the people I was undergoing it with and washed some dishes. Exciting dishes. Brilliant dishes with beginnings, middles and ends. And when I’d eked them out as long as I could, I returned to watch someone having his face torn off and Tom Hardy giving Charlize Theron (looking even rougher than she did in ‘Monster’) a sad half-smile and pissing off, bringing some sort of God-accursed sequel that much more likely.
To be honest, I didn’t much care for the original ‘Mad Max’ trilogy. The first two I found boring and the final one was just plain brain-damaged. I failed to understand how anyone around me – and there were plenty of them, recommending this crap and smiling like Jehovah’s Witnesses – imagined these were in any way ‘good’. About all they did was unleash a then youthful Mel Gibson on the world. Giving them the cultural significance of the gravestone that whispered at Peter Sutcliffe, telling him it was time to start killing women.
That said, ‘Mad Max – Fury Road’, to its credit, does not feature either Tina Turner or Angry Anderson. But then, neither does ‘Emmanuelle in space’. Or the new Aldi that’s opened in Cowdenbeath. Which, unlike this millstone of the cinema, I could see me putting myself through again.