Potentially some mild spoilers.
- Charlize Theron is my queen. Forever.
- To expand on point number one: there are more female action heroes than male action heroes in this movie, by far. On the men’s side we’ve got Max (Tom Hardy) and Nux (Nicholas Hoult). On the women’s? Furiosa (Charlize Theron), of course, but also all of the escaped, amazingly named “breeders” (Toast the Knowing, the Splendid Angharad, Capable, the Dag, Cheedo the Fragile) and all the Vuvalini. (Get all the actress names from IMDB). A lot of the kick ass women? Played by actresses in their sixties and seventies. Who did their own fucking stunts. If there were any more female awesome in this movie, I think the projectors would catch on fire. And these heroes, both male and female, exhibit every kind of gritty strength that exists, from beating the crap out of someone to cunning teamwork to reaching past horrific trauma to connect emotionally with someone else. It’s a female-led action movie where the female character isn’t the token girl who is different and special, where a whole range of women is presented in all their badass glory and get to be as diverse and interesting as the array of male characters would be in another film. (Argument made well here.)
- This has got to be one of the most gorgeously shot and edited action movies I have ever seen. The editing style is different from your normal explody funtimes films, probably because Miller had someone who doesn’t normally edit action films (his wife, Margaret Sixel) take on the project. She turned out something that gets downright lyrical with explosions. Add that to the gorgeous cinematography and it’s absolutely beautiful even in its most grotesque moments.
- Let’s just take a moment to consider Tom Hardy’s muzzle. (Which has a very good story reason for existing.)
- The landscapes are fucking breathtaking. (As you saw above.) There is such a sense of scale to this movie, humans in their tiny, insanely tricked out cars against an incredibly hostile planet that they’ve basically pissed off into wanting to kill them. And it’s gorgeous as it does.
- Practical effects and some epic stunts. Including yes those dudes were actually on twenty-foot-long, swinging poles. And you can tell, you can really, really tell when you watch it. The most recent action film I saw before this one was Avengers: Age of Ultron, which I’m not saying is bad, but you could tell where the CGI took over, where things became less real and had so much less weight to them. I think because you don’t keep getting hit with CGI in Mad Max: Fury Road, it keeps its grip on you just a little tighter. It feels more real, despite the fact that it’s a crazypants future where people have made an entire death cult around driving cars across the desert in an incredibly unsafe fashion.
- There is a guitar. That shoots flame. Which is basically the embodiment of the movie’s design aesthetic.
- On that note (hah) I am going to have to buy the movie’s soundtrack, which is perfect. Just never, ever let me listen to it while I’m driving. My car doesn’t need an audio JATO strapped to it.
- Seeing it will make an MRA cry sad whiney baby tears.
- The movie is basically a two hour car chase. And yet at no point does it give you a relief from the tension. It’s crazy plan to crazier plan to yet crazier plan and the danger level never stops ratcheting up. It’s been a long time since an action movie actually did keep me on the edge of my seat but godDAMN. Every time you think it can’t get more amazeballs ridiculous, it does. It’s like being on a rollercoaster for the first time: at the end you’re not even sure what the fuck happened to you and what kind of mixed terror and exhilaration signals your brain is sending, but you know you can’t wait for another ride.
Real talk, it’s not a perfect movie. If I really sat down and thought about it, I’m sure I could find something to pick apart. (I can already tell you I have some mixed feelings on the dialog about fertility, though I am kind of tickled by the women asking the men several times, “who killed the world?”) But I don’t want to, at this point. I’m still riding the high.