1. Firstly, there is an incredible female protagonist in the forefront, a rarity in movies. Holy shit, it is so refreshing to actually have an interesting female front runner in such a movie! I’m consistently disappointed by the nearly-complete absence of female faces on movie screens, but it looks like that’s starting to change for the better. Charlize Theron plays Furiosa, a powerful hero who drives her own destiny and steers other characters in the direction of the insane plot. (Both puns intended because she drives a semi truck. Har-di-har.)
2. Secondly, the desolate world these mad-characters live in is a stark and horrifying depiction of our obsession with oil and how we are effectively destroying the planet. “Who killed the world” is a phrase heard throughout the film. Water and plants are a rarity in the ravaged wasteland and human suffering is a clear symptom.
3. Thirdly, it’s just a mind-blowing action film. The way it’s filmed is thrilling. The cars and trucks (and characters) were all created to look vastly unusual, the action never stops and it was all filmed in real life settings in Namibia.
4. Last, and certainly not least, I also recommend the film for how it admonishes the way women are treated in our real world by demonstrating the grotesque treatment of women in the movie as baby-ovens, mere sexual bodies and milk producers. Director George Miller said, “I can’t help but be a feminist.” And who could help it when feminism means equality and respect? Who wouldn’t want women to be equally represented in films, unless they were blatantly sexist and wanting to keep women in their ‘place’?
One outspoken, small-potatoes opponent of the film decries it saying “It looks like that action guy flick we’ve desperately been waiting for” but instead he calls it “feminist propaganda.” Yeah, cause women finally playing interesting roles for a change is ‘propaganda’. Is he sad because he’s been desperately waiting for yet another guys-action film? Women have been waiting for any interesting film about them. Hollywood gives us nearly nothing. I think this guy is a pretty good representation of the people who wouldn’t like the film because, waaaaah, women get to do stuff in it.
He calls himself the “Captain of Capitalism” and runs an advisory for “Asshole Consulting.” Well, at least he admits it. Ha. You just can’t make this stuff up. So the film has had some meager push-back from people like him, for having strong female leads and I just find that argument more and more absurd. Every time a woman gets to play an interesting or complex role and gets to be on camera doing something on her own instead of being a sexual toy for a man, or a token character, all of a sudden it’s like “Woah, woah! Feminism! All these women in movies!” That mentality is just sad. But this movie goes above and beyond being awesome allowing women to be awesome too.
So of course, it passes the Bechdel Test hands down with several female characters acting in valiant and plot-driving ways. Who’da thought women could be entertaining heroes to a diverse set of Americans? Turns out, a lot of people. $109 million dollars opening weekend says a lot of people will pay to see an action movie with not just men being incredible, but women too.
P.S. For those of you ladies who like to dress up as kick-ass women for Halloween, but have trouble finding decent ones in the media, Furiosa is definitely at the top of the list.