To say I enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road is an understatement. I was thrilled, enthralled, mesmerized and by the end, freakin’ pumped up! This film is an intense, fun and sprawling modern epic that lands us in a crazy, yet surprisingly beautiful post apocalyptic world. Usually, I like most best picture nominees enough, but Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the few in my lifetime that I absolutely love!
In this barren, crazy land, Max (Tom Hardy) is a man just trying to survive. He is captured, taken to The Citadel and used as a blood bag for a sick war boy, Nux (Nicholas Hoult). When one of Immortan Joe’s Imperators, Furiosa (Charlize Theron) goes for a gas run and suddenly heads east, he discovers that she has taken his brides. Joe and his followers roll out to chase her down and bring back his treasured brides. But Furiosa is a fighter, taking the women to The Green Place where the Many Mothers are and is ready to crush Joe’s patriarchal oppression.
The majority of the film is a car chase. Now, other films can do a great car chase, one of my favorites is The French Connection. That looks cute and fuzzy next to the likes of Mad Max. Here the cars are crazy, souped up and look like monster trucks on steroids. These cars are big, mean, with spikes, and spitting fire from their roaring engines. There is one with a serious speaker system, complete with a guitarist who plays a flamethrower guitar. I want one of those for Christmas. And the war boys drive them so recklessly, the stunts are just amazing.
What really makes me intensely love this film is how wonderfully strong and powerful the women are depicted. Furiosa is my new hero. She single-handedly leads a rebellion against Immortan Joe, drives the hell out of her rig and can take care of herself and her friends. The brides she smuggles out are just as tough, though we may have our doubts at first. And the women the meet out east prove to be strong allies.
This has got to be one of the most wonderfully feminist films I have ever seen. People have this expectation that an action film, named after a male character is going to be the usual tired mess of testosterone, but this is not. This is a story of female rebellion in a male dominated society (and look how shitty Joe and his boys have made it!). Furiosa leads, drives and fights just as strong as any man could. There are striking moments that drive home how terrible these men are and how the women are sick of it. They write, “WE ARE NOT THINGS” and “WHO KILLED THE WORLD?” on the walls before they left. The Many Mothers don’t trust Max and Nux at first but are immediately trusting of Furiosa and the other women. The moment where Joe decides to kill his pregnant wife to save the unborn child sickened me.
On the flip side, I love how disgusting Immortan Joe and his gang are. Joe is this sickly fat man covered in boils who has to wear a device to help him breathe. Yet, his breathing apparatus looks like bared teeth, his see-through armor is molded to give him a six-pack and has medals hanging off of it. Talk about fragile masculinity, right? His war boys aren’t much better. They’re sickly pale and skinny, amped up on chrome they spray on their mouth and teeth, convincing them to die for Immortan Joe. And that guy with the nipple rings, ugh, so gross in every way.
Mad Max: Fury Road has earned ten Oscar nominations. George Miller earned his first nomination for best director. The other nominations include best production design, cinematography, film editing, costume design, sound mixing, sound editing, visual effects, makeup and hairstyling and best picture. As you can see, many of them compliment what technological feat of modern art this film is. Personally, I would love to see Mad Max win best picture.
I love this film. I want everyone to see it. The first time I saw it, I thought it would be your usual action film, so I just relaxed and drank a couple beers. By the end, I was jumping up and down in my living room cheering, “Down with the patriarchy!” When I watched this film a second time, I was just as pumped up. I was ready to put monster tires and spikes on my dorky car and remove all horrible men from power.
“You will ride eternal, shiny and chrome.”