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Mad Max of the Future - Sci-fi movies don't always get it right

Mad Max of the Future
I’m a big sci-fi fan. Everything from Star Trek to the Road Warrior movies, and anything else in between. If the story line is good, well, that’s a plus, but what I like to keep an eye on is the technical aspects of the movie and compare it to the technology we have today. You know, see if they’ve improved on the technology we already have. For example, the communicator in Star Trek can easily be transitioned into the modern cell phone and other technology like that. It’s just one of the ways to look at past and present technologies, but a lot of times these movie plots don’t follow the progression of technology. In fact sometimes they get it entirely wrong.

In the Mad Max movies we’re to assume the movie is set some time in the future after the fall of society. However, all the engines appear of the 70’s era. They’re all carbureted engines. I mean, how did they skip over decades of computerized vehicles and end up with carbureted cars with a shortage of gasoline? I’m pretty sure none of those four wheeled creations in the movie are running on a PCM or ECM. Where’s the check engine lights? Where’s all the scanners? Where’s all the DIY hackers? Did all the electronic and technical creations end up useless after a gigantic solar flare wiped them out?

It could be, as the movie goer, you’re just supposed to accept the fact as to which cars survived. In a realistic view, those engines would have been all but worn out by the time the apocalypse came around. But, it is just a movie. Then again, what would happen if we moved the time frame of the movie up a bit and relied on today’s advanced technologies.

Hmm, well it’s not likely anything has a working computer. Who’s going to flash the crazy thing? No internet and obviously no manufacturer’s website to get the info from. That puts the likely vehicle to be a pre-software controlled car, or maybe it would be a full electric car. Sure why not? There’s still solar and wind power around, and maybe one of those cyber geeks/mechanics was able to figure out how to rig up some sort of software bypass that could get these technically advanced cars back into running condition.

So, what kind of modern technically advanced car would Mad Max be zooming through the desert in then? I think I know. Let’s go to the opening scenes of “Mad Max of the Future” movie.

It’s years after the world as we know it has fallen apart. Chaos is rampant, there’s no internet, no infrastructure, and nothing but insanely radical and delusional characters running around. Now, for the movie buff, seeing Mad Max flying down the highway in his modified hot rod equipped with a huge blower and nitrous is part of that testosterone movie appeal, but that’s not around anymore. He would be more inclined to be driving something that he wouldn’t have to deal with the gas shortage. What if Mad Max’s car wasn’t a snarling gas guzzling combustion engine from the late 70’s, but a car of the here and now? I know the perfect car that fits the criteria. How about a Toyota Leaf.

Let me set the scene for you. We see Mad Max disconnecting the battery pack from his solar array as he crams himself and all his sawed off shot guns into his little Leaf. A wide shot pans across the car showing a huge stack of auxiliary batteries strapped to the roof that Max can use just in case he needs that extra jolt of energy.

The next shot shows him heading down this lonely stretch of desert road when the “Ayatollah of Rockin’ Rolla” and his henchmen comes into view over the top of the next ridge. They’re baring down on him so, Mad Max punches the pedal to the floor and heads straight for them. When he gets up to speed, he flips the safety cap off of the switch and hits the button. The camera zooms in on the internal cells of the batteries strapped to the roof. The camera scene moves with short quick motions as the viewer goes for ride with the current as it passes through the electrical veins to the drive motor. Max is jolted back into his harness as the electricity sends him zooming down the road at lightning speeds. Of course, there wouldn’t be the roar of the exhaust or the whirl of the blower belt.
More like a loud whine as the electric motor wizzes to its full potential.

Sure it could happen, but I suppose, even in the future downfall of society the roar of a powerful engine is still far more dramatic as a movie scene than the whiz of an electric motor. Which brings up the thought that even if the world collapsed into utter chaos, technology would still be a part of it. At least I think so, and somebody somewhere would have to know how fix it and who would that be? Who else but the modern mechanic, of course. If there was a great upheaval of the world as we know it, mechanics would still be in demand. Let’s just call it “future job security”. Even Star Trek had their engineer, Scottie. Which just goes to prove you can’t leave home without knowing where a good mechanic is.

To say the writers and producers of these sci-fi flicks got it wrong isn’t all that important, but it does make you wonder how the lack of gasoline became the theme in a lot of these movies. I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m a bit of the macho motor guy who loves to hear the roar of a big motor and I wouldn’t want any other way.

Someday there might actually be anti-gravity cars or teleportation. For now, I’m glad to see some of this old iron still belching exhaust in these wacky movies. Maybe not the most “environmentally friendly” type of cars, but they sure do make for a great chase scene. Then again, maybe they’ll make a “Mad Max of the Future” movie with hybrids, electric cars, and of course Max’s hopped up Toyota Leaf.

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