MAD MAX FURY ROAD: Hope and Sacrifice | FCC 72

Hope and sacrifice are just two of the many Christian themes that can be found in George Miller’s Mad Max Fury Road. Join us we we dig deeper into these ideas and discuss how to use them to share the good news of Jesus with friends and loved one.

For your convenience you will find each podcast segment at the time referenced below:

  • 00:00:00 – Introduction
  • 00:03:40 Mad Max Fury Road Discussion 
  • 01:06:38 – Listener Challenge and Feedback
  • 01:19:35 – Well-mannered Frivolity
  • 01:25:30 – Lightning Round 
  • 01:31:40 – Upcoming

All Good War Boys Go To Valhalla, Right?

“My world is fire and blood,” says the eponymous Max in his opening monologue, and there’s plenty of fire and blood to go around. The fire can be seen in the hyper-automotive culture of this post-apocalyptic wasteland and the copious amounts of guzzoline it takes to keep it running. The blood comes in the form of the unpleasant sacrifices we see people having to make in order to survive. Both the fire and the blood compose the fuel that propagates the modus operandi of this society: be good so that you can go to Valhalla.

For the War Boys – the militant arm of the Citadel – being good enough to go to Valhalla means being “kamakrazee” enough to give up one’s own life for that of Immortan Joe, the commander-in-chief himself. And while most War Boys answer their call without a hitch, one War Boy named Nux can’t seem to get it right.

His first attempt involves flooding his car with guzzoline, cutting in front of the hijacked War Rig, lighting a road flare, and then putting the flame to the pool of guzzoline. This would cause his pursuit vehicle to explode, and that explosion would stop the War Rig. Mad Max, however, is able to stop Nux from touching the flame to the guzzoline, and Nux’s efforts are wasted.

This image from MAD MAX FURY ROAD shows Nicholas Hoult as Nux the War Boy.

Nux gets a chance to redeem himself to Immortan Joe when he offers to climb aboard the War Rig again and pike Furiosa – the one who commandeered the War Rig – in the spine. Immortan Joe personally blesses the mission by handing Nux a piston along with the permission to shoot Furiosa in the skull. Upon completion, Immortan Joe promises to carry Nux himself to the glorious gates of Valhalla. Clumsy Nux messes up once again and then is abandoned by Immortan Joe because of that failure.

The key to understanding these botched sacrifices is in understanding that they were ignoble and selfish and thus overall detestable. Nux wasn’t even really sacrificing himself for anyone but himself, no matter what pretentious pomp and circumstance he surrounded the attempts with. On top of that, his sacrifices, had they worked, would have meant the death of innocent people for no reason but his own comfort and glorification.

These kinds of sacrifices are what the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob hates. As he tells the Israelite people through his prophet Malachi, he wishes someone would close the temple doors because those sacrifice stink so badly. He doesn’t want pretentious and selfish religiosity but actual care for those who cannot take care of themselves; such was the example he set for us by exacting the judgment we deserve on his own Son on our behalf so that we could live a life filled with love like He wants us to.


Nirvana Smells Like Hope

Once again, this is a desert wasteland, and resources for survival are few and far between. The most valuable resource – water – is being controlled by the Immortan Joe, who will only pump it out whenever he sees fit. This wouldn’t be a problem if he didn’t degrade water as “addictive” and blame it for society’s troubles like he does. His people hunger and thirst while he waters his own plants on a continual basis (if it isn’t clear yet how wicked Immortan Joe is…I pity you).

That’s why Joe’s concubines, his imprisoned “Breeders,” have sought out the aid of the Imperator Furiosa to take them to a better life. They’ve all heard of the Green Place (it already sounds better than what they’re used to); Furiosa was even born there. No doubt she has told them all stories of that beautiful location and thus created a longing within them so strong to make them want to beseech Furiosa’s help in this mission.

It isn’t just about the Green Place for Furiosa, though, or anyone else for that matter. The concubines, Furiosa, Nux, and Max are all longing for something better than their present state. The “promise” of Valhalla falls short to the hope these characters have in a place that can help them live a better life.

This image from MAD MAX FURY ROAD shows Charlize Theron as Furiosa kneeling in the desert.

But after they discover that the Green Place no longer exists, the convoy realizes that their best option now is to overthrow the Citadel and liberate the resources that Immortan Joe has been hoarding for himself. The plan is even feasible because the Citadel is unprotected; any armed services are still out in the desert with Immortan Joe. The mission then becomes to reach the Citadel before the other team, and the winner will take all.

We can now understand the good guys of Mad Max Fury Road to be like the faithful remnant of the Israelite people as described in the Old Testament. When the rest of Israel fell away to other gods and pagan practices, a small group – the faithful remnant – stayed vigilant and longed for the home from which they had been evicted. They hoped to return one day, but they knew that God had to go before them and clear the way in order for them to enter into.

Whenever God has placed a longing in our hearts, we should follow the example of the faithful remnants of both the Israelites and Furiosa’s team: stay faithful, stay hopeful, and remain vigilant in our faith. Keyword: persevere. Because when that for which we have longed comes to pass – you know, like being back home with God – it will be a dream fulfilled.


Key Texts

Malachi 1:10 NLT

“How I wish one of you would shut the Temple doors so that these worthless sacrifices could not be offered! I am not pleased with you,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “and I will not accept your offerings.”

Ephesians 5:2 NLT

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

 

Isaiah 41:17-20 NIV

17 “The poor and needy search for water,
    but there is none;
    their tongues are parched with thirst.
But I the Lord will answer them;
    I, the God of Israel, will not forsake them.
18 I will make rivers flow on barren heights,
    and springs within the valleys.
I will turn the desert into pools of water,
    and the parched ground into springs.
19 I will put in the desert
    the cedar and the acacia, the myrtle and the olive.
I will set junipers in the wasteland,
    the fir and the cypress together,
20 so that people may see and know,
    may consider and understand,
that the hand of the Lord has done this,
    that the Holy One of Israel has created it.

Proverbs 13:12 NLT

Hope deferred makes the heart sick,
but a dream fulfilled is a tree of life.


Finding Christ In Cinema is the show where we discover Christian themes in movies past and present. Join us and together we’ll dig deeper into the silver-screen classics of yesteryear as well as the box-office hits of today. Brought to you by the Great Commission Transmission Network. View the complete show notes, including links to articles discussed, by clicking here.

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About Brenden Taylor

Brenden is a graduate student pursuing his Master in Theatre Arts degree with Regent University. He is an educational assistant and tutor by day and a theatre practitioner by night. You can find him live-tweeting his favorite movies on Twitter @LeviTheBeliever or posting poetry and unsolicited opinions at thebookofbrenden.com
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  • Philip Heard

    Great show again guys! I love the fact that I can listen to an episode even if I haven’t seen the film yet and still get something out of it. I can’t offer anything about Fury Road, but I would like Brenden to tell me- is it pronounced Furio-sah or Furio-so? I also would like to get you guys’ thoughts on the idea of spectacle from a Christian perspective. What is it’s value, if any? Is it inherently a good or bad thing?

    As far as your horror question goes- I like Michael’s 3rd category of Slasher films, which is what I dislike so much. Although I’m not a fan of horror, I do enjoy many films that have a horror element to them. Guillermo del Toro has an element of horror in pretty much everything he does, and I love his work. I also enjoy some Psychological and Supernatural horror elements in film. The Exorcism of Emily Rose comes to mind, as well as Signs and Warm Bodies, which stars Nicholas Hoult(hint, hint). I really like Coraline, ParaNorman, Nightmare Before Christmas, and Boxtrolls, and they have horror elements also. And let us not forget some of the greatest works of fiction in history- A Christmas Carol & Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde. Slasher films feel manipulative to me- as well as crass, exploitative, and gratuitous.

    I’m praying for Brenden’s decision about a Master’s Degree. It sounds like a great idea to me. Brenden is a wise Christian, outgoing, smart, and a great people person. Being a drama teacher would be a great way for him to impact the lives of people while doing something he enjoys- a win, win. Love the show guys, keep up the good work! #muhweeladgimli

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