Mad Max: Fury Road, the reboot of a film franchise that’s been dormant for 30 years, premieres today, and there are more than a few surprising twists to it.
One is that Mad Max: Fury Road is being acclaimed as a great movie. Not just a good movie, a fun movie, but a great movie. The best action film in years, maybe. The rest of the summer blockbusters will be challenged to challenge it.
“Fury Road is one of the best action movies of the decade, a punk Last Judgment with manic invention and depraved wit on display in every frame.” —Alex Pappademas, Grantland
“Utterly unhinged, magnificently inspired, hugely ambitious, deeply weird, emotionally resonant, and brilliant in every possible way, Mad Max: Fury Road is a mow-you-down masterwork.” —Stephen Rebello, Playboy
“Even in the most chaotic fights and collisions, everything makes sense. … And Mr. Miller demonstrates that great action filmmaking is not only a matter of physics but of ethics as well. There is cause and effect; there are choices and consequences.” —A.O. Scott, New York Times
“Hardy and Theron make a dynamite team, but Theron is the film’s bruised heart and soul. So get prepped for a new action classic. You won’t know what hit you.” —Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“A gleefully violent—and improbably feminist—phantasmagoria that turns epic road rage and long stretches of vehicular omnicide into an eye-boggling joy ride.” —Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
Those last two comments, about Theron being the movie’s soul and the story being fuh-fuh-feminist, confirm what set “Men’s Rights Advocates” off earlier this week. According to a post that went up Monday at a blog called Return of Kings, Mad Max: Fury Road is “the vehicle by which [Hollywood is] guaranteed to force a lecture on feminism down your throat. … the Trojan Horse feminists and Hollywood leftists will use to (vainly) insist on the trope women are equal to men in all things.” The author, who hadn’t seen (and won’t see, he says) the film, was cheered by his fellow aggrieved fellows, and mocked by just about everyone else. The blog post has sparked 3,800 comments, and counting.
Charlize Theron discussed this suspicion of feminism at Cannes yesterday, and called MMFR “an incredible feminist movie.” Her comments are at 3:30 in the video below:
INTERVIEWER: “Is there something feminist about this film?”
THERON: “You know what I think is even more powerful about it is that [director] George [Miller] didn’t have a feminist agenda up his sleeve, and I think that’s what makes the story even more powerful, especially how the women are represented in it. It’s just very truthful, and I really applaud him for that, because I think when we use the word feminism, people get a little freaked out, it’s somehow like we’re being put on a pedestal or anything like that. George has this innate understanding that women are just as complex and interesting as men and he was really interested in discovering all of that, and I think through his need and want for the truth, he actually made an incredible feminist movie.”