Consensus is a tough thing to find these days when it comes to movies. Everyone has their issues and nitpicks, and outrage culture has made the term “problematic” a far too regular part of our lexicon. And yet, Mad Max: Fury Road appears to be the movie that’s going to bring everyone together in harmony, like some sort of cosmic gift from above. Following years of delays, bad buzz, and a lengthy post-production period, George Miller’s masterpiece has finally been unveiled to the world, and it’s on track to be the most positively reviewed blockbuster of the modern era.
And it’s no wonder. The movie is phenomenal. It’s a hypnotic thrill-ride from beginning to end, with some of the most insane, visceral, and jaw-dropping practical stunts seen onscreen in years. It blends the practicality of old school action filmmaking with the modern era’s erratic and fast-paced editing, with Miller melding the two into a perfect storm of frenzied entertainment.
But the most admirable feature of Fury Road is that the film is thematically rich, with profoundly feminist subtext and refreshingly progressive gender roles. Charlize Theron’s Furiosa isn’t just a “badass” (fun fact: being a “badass” does not equal a strong female character), she’s a complicated and emotionally rich character with three-dimensional shading. Indeed, none of the female characters in the film are the standard stock roles—each woman reacts to what happens differently, and each character is an actual person rather than an interchangeable “female character to be placed in frame behind the main guy”. It’s all the more impressive given that Miller doesn’t hand-feed the audience exposition—the plot and backstory is implied through the actions of the characters themselves, which makes the craftsmanship all the more remarkable.
But enough of my rambling praise. Matt’s review is on the site, so now we’d like to hear what you thought of the film, readers. Is this one of the best action films ever made? Were you pleasantly surprised to find that Furiosa is the real hero of the story? Is there a single false note in this entire thing? Sound off with your thoughts on Mad Max: Fury Road in the comments section after revisiting the first trailer for the film below.