Mad Max: Fury Road Is A Proper Feminist Action Spectacle.

Mad Max: Fury Road.
Director: George Miller.
Writers: George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, Nick Lathouris.
Cast: Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, Hugh Keays-Byrne.
Playing At: Wide.

With Mad Max: Fury Road, George Miller has created a masterpiece that can only be described as deliciously horrifying and woundingly beautiful.

Oh, and definitely not the same Mad Max. In this latest installment of the Mad Max franchise, Max is very much still mad — but that’s about all this film has in common with the old Mel Gibson series, really.

In fact, it’s better to forget everything you know about the original films up to this point altogether before viewing Fury Road.

One thing that’s definitely new this time is through the film’s portrayal of women. Feminists will surely rejoice in Miller’s cast of strong, able-bodied, badass women taking care of business: Fury Road centers mostly on Furiosa — a Charlize Theron that is almost unrecognizable at first, covered in dirt and adorned with a G.I. Jane style haircut — rather than Tom Hardy’s Max, himself.

The two meet after Furiosa flees from the Hitler-like Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne,) — a “king” with five wives (at least two of which the film suggests are pregnant) — while seeking a way out of his entitlement and reign. Obviously, he sends an army in pursuit.

The thing is, Furiosa and Max are equally important in defending their half-18-wheeler-half-train-car through the desert on their way to sweet freedom. Along the way, they encounter all manner of old, haggard, machine gun-wielding women who blow up a few dudes while murmuring gangster-like one-liners.

Without giving away too much of the plot, we’ll say that a lot of it is driven on high-energy action sequences made extra exhilarating due to the fact that they were accomplished with practical effects rather than CGI. The translation of these effects is felt throughout the film, and it pronounces the action as right there, right in your face.

And while the ending is a tad surprising, it manages to strike a balance between being satisfying and leaving things open-ended enough for a sequel. Naturally, there are already two more rumored films that Miller has planned for the saga.

You’ll definitely want to hop aboard this post-apocalyptic train now, though. Fury Road is that it’s not just intended to be the Mad Max of our generation; it’s a version we can warmly embrace as such.

Grade: A.

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