I discovered something while watching Fury Road yesterday: Mad Max is Conan with cars.
An important concept to keep in mind when watching any of the Mad Max films is that each one is essentially a reboot. They're not in any meaningful sense sequels to one another any more than successive Conan stories were in any meaningful sense sequels to one another.
Howard wrote his tales "out of order", and I got the same sense from Fury Road that I get from Conan stories: this is "a tale of Max" rather than "the next in the saga". In fact, I find in general that Mad Max and Conan operate on many of the same premises, and both hold a subtle power, partly in the way they build their world. Howard never really stops to provide long expositions regarding which people come from where and how their societies operate. Neither does Miller. You get it from dialogue cues and fill the details in as you go. The Fast and Furious movies clearly want to ape the action of Mad Max, but they don't create the world that Mad Max does. That keeps F&F pretty solidly in the soulless spectacle camp for me. They're just not swinging the mythic themes and world of Mad Max.
And the cars aren't nearly as cool.
And I found the movie a hyperkinetic thrill ride that pasted me to the back wall of the theater and held me there for two straight hours or sensory-awesome. If you pay attention, you can even see where Tom Hardy does some looks and glances and moves that are clearly drawn from Mel Gibson's style, and while it would have been neat to see Gibson come back for one last ride here, I can dig Hardy's Max.
For Car Wars purposes, I can now reasonably state that my personal vision of the game is bookended by Miller's Fury Road on one side and the Wachowskis' Speed Racer on the other.