Runstedler’s DVD Pick of the Month: Mad Max: Fury Road

Yes, Mad Max: Fury Road is as good as everyone says it is. Perhaps even better! No, you don’t need to watch the original trilogy beforehand, but it wouldn’t hurt, especially The Road Warrior (my favourite), and perhaps the original Mad Max to make sense of his circumstances and bodily damage in the second film. I loved everything about this film, from the striking visuals, to the feminist allegories and over-the-top displays, to the hyperactive action and plot.

The premise of this enchanting reboot is that Mad Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy) escapes from the prison of some patriarchal marauders and reluctantly joins forces with Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who is leading her own escape from the tyrannous antagonist Immortan Joe (what a great name for a villain! He wears a face mask and full body armour – so ’80s, like Shao Kahn!). What ensues is possibly the most explosions you’ll see in one movie, and a fantastic and epic car chase (or series of them) that are reminiscent of The Road Warrior‘s climactic gasoline truck escape. Imperator is probably my favourite character in the film and series – a strong, independent, kick ass rebel with a knack for survival and a really cool bionic arm. What can’t Charlize do? 🙂 She leads a team of women from Immortan Joe’s misogynistic clutches (he calls these women “breeders”), and along with Joe and an unlikely Immortan Joe lackey-turned-defector, they head towards the Promised Land.

On the surface, it seems like a super exciting action movie, and while it is in every respect, it’s more than that. Imperator’s call to arms against Immortan’s sexist empire is a testament to the feminist stance of the movie, and furthermore her character is a breakthrough in the cinematic world, joining other awesome female characters such as Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Trilogy in recent film. As well, the film touches on ideas of existentialism and hopes and dreams. Immortan’s army members are driven by a weird religious fervour, and the defector in the film comes to question his own beliefs and drives in a seemingly nihilistic world. There’s no Christ here to save the fallen from the chaos of the Wasteland. The film also touches on human trafficking and bodies as commodities.

The whole film is an adrenaline rush, low on dialogue but high on octane. You can hear and feel the motors running and engines rumbling like they’re right next to you, and Max and Imperator always have an exciting new strategy up their sleeve, so it’s never dull. It has great fight scenes, chases, and even one guy who rides a vehicle with a flamethrower guitar!! This is an action movie buff’s dream, and in the hands of George Miller (the seasoned director of the original director), it’s an art. I’m so glad that Miller could direct this one, and I actually didn’t miss Mel Gibson as Max (‘You want to get out of here? You talk to me.’). Such a satisfying experience. I just to watch it and it’s so much more than you think it will be. You’ll be on the edge of your seat for this one in the best way possible as the world blows up around them. Happy viewing! What a lovely day!

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