Mad Max: Fury Road
A thank you letter.
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU.
Thank you George Miller, for spending a decade creating an action film starring women, about women’s lives, but without any heavy handed moralizing or trope-izing their real world struggles. Even their post-apocalypse, weird and surreal world struggles. Thank you for making what are traditionally “women’s issues” non trivial. Thank you for also addressing the uncomfortable topic of sending young men to war on our behalf.
Thank you for holding to the feel and energy of the original Mad Max films, and keeping close to the original character, thus giving Hollywood nothing to complain about. I haven’t seen rave reviews for an action flick in a long time. Honestly, I haven’t seen an action flick this good and unique in a long time. I mean, there are only so many ways to do car chases and shooting but this felt like a breath of very gritty fresh air to a overplayed and boring genre (like, if I see a preview for one more “someone stole Liam Neeson’s family” movie, I’m gonna scream).
Thank you for casting women like Melissa Jaffer. Hollywood has one version of femininity, and you gave us a bucket load of variety instead. Thank you for creating a main character with absolutely no difficulty being amazeballs and having a disability. (Maybe there’s another word for it than disability because people with “disabilities” seem fully capable of living life. I don’t know.) Thank you for letting them do many of their own stunts. Thank you for portraying a (exaggerated, sort of goofy) version of mental illness that did not detract from the character’s ability to be awesome.
This movie wasn’t complex or nuanced or anything like that. It was fun, and it was explosive, and it was gritty and full of ridiculous action sequences. It was essentially a two hour long car chase (no surprises, of course, because Mad Max is what Mad Max is). I’m so grateful that these things are true. I have been begging Hollywood to make movies with more women. Not “women’s movies” but all movies–even the goofy, exploding ones. Fury Road didn’t hit on every mark, but it was the first movie I’ve seen in a long time that made me think “yes, yesssss this is what I’ve been wanting.”
So thank you, everyone who made this movie happen. Thank you from the bottom of my sci-fi, post-apocalypse, awesome-lady loving heart.