I finally got a chance to check out Mad Max: Fury Road this evening. I feel like I’m late to the party, but it was well worth the wait. The trailers made this film look like a crazy, nonstop vehicle battle, and that is exactly what it was. Surprisingly, there was also a story that was interesting to go along with all the explosions and general insanity.
While the plot wasn’t the most original (evil war lord ruling over the huddled masses, a lone man thrown into a fight he never wanted, etc.), there were some fun surprises. Furiosa, played by my favorite actress of all time Charlize Theron, was a complete badass in every single way. It was nice to see a strong female lead in a movie that seems to be marketed towards men. Tom Hardy did a fantastic job as Max, a character who was previously played by Mel Gibson in the original Mad Max trilogy. I felt that he breathed new life into the character while still being true to how he was portrayed in the earlier films. The supporting cast did a great job, and you have to love that they had Hugh Keays-Byrne back again as the villain in this film. He was gross, scary, and his ending was pretty damn gory.
The film itself was highly stylized and beautiful in a strange way. While most of the film takes place in vehicles, we got a great depiction of what a post-apocalyptic world would look like. The vehicles were a mishmash of different car parts and other random things that looked pointy and stabby. The character design and costuming were very interesting and were used to convey the character of each actor rather well. The film used every bit of space it had to fill in the world with creative and bizarre settings and costumes.
I can’t talk about this film without mentioning that there have been some complaints about it having a feminist agenda. Articles have been popping all over my Facebook feed claiming that this film emasculates Max, due to Furiosa being a strong female lead. One man said that this film was not made for men, it was a film made for women disguised as an action movie. I went into this movie hearing both sides of this argument and I honestly didn’t see anything emasculating about it. It does show strong females, not only in the lead but in the supporting roles as well. But it also shows men in power, and I really didn’t feel that it tipped the scales in either direction. So thanks for filling my feed with trash talk, now I know to ignore it and love the movie for what it is.
All in all, this is a great action film with a message. Yes, it’s not super original. Yes it had its corny moments (The guy playing the guitar while hanging from the front of a war machine….why?), but it was so well done that these things don’t really detract from it. If you haven’t seen it, go see it on the big screen. This is one you don’t want to miss.