I’m breaking from my typical review format with Mad Max: Fury Road because this film is an all around different beast of a movie.
I think the first priority is to give a shoutout to my boy Marcus (also known as Nicholas Hoult). To “About A Boy” fans, watching little Marcus grow from the adorable awkward little kid he was into a truly superb actor is a great experience. Just look at how far he has come:
You go, Nicholas Hoult.
As of my writing this, “Mad Max: Fury Road” has brought in $24.6 million. This is significant because it is arguable that “Max Max: Fury Road” is a women’s liberation smash hit. This is a Hollywood movie wherein the major plot line is liberating a group of women from being “breeders,” or in other words sex slaves. And who headed this liberation? A kick-ass woman named Imperator Furiosa played by Charlize Theron. For a movie coming out of Hollywood, this is a big deal.
“Mad Max: Fury Road” wasn’t without its flaws in terms of female representation. The “breeders” were scantily clad, making them appear as eye candy. This kind of costume design is not only lacking in creativity, it is troublesome because women are more likely than men to appear in movies naked or nearly naked. This inequality can lead to female objectification and feeds rape culture, as well as the notion that women in film are there merely to look a certain way and appeal to the male gaze.
However, in the case of “Mad Max,” these scantily clad sex slaves didn’t just sit around waiting for Mad Max and Furiosa to save the day. They helped create their own destinies. Watching the movie I was taken aback by this. From the trailer, Charlize Theron looked like a great character but Hollywood is so terrible at female representation and portrayal that I was shocked to see a group of women fighting for their own lives instead of waiting for other people to save their lives for them.
And that’s not all.
“Mad Max” also included a group of older women who helped with the rescue. They were smart, strong, and badass. The only downside was additional female nudity portrayed as a trap (it was unclear for whom the trap was set). I did not find this nudity necessary so I think it only added to the inequality in film.
“Mad Max” has some typical Hollywood issues in terms of female representation. There were some cheesy and unbelievable moments, such as when faced with an entire harem of armed women a metal-masked and chained Mad Max still managed to beat them in a fight. That was utter nonsense. But, overall I think “Mad Max” was a win for women in Hollywood.
Furiosa is fantastic. All female characters fought for their own and had depth. “Mad Max: Fury Road” is primarily female driven, despite the title implying it is about a man. Overall it wasn’t my favorite movie. But in terms of a step forward for women in film, I think “Mad Max: Fury Road” is a vital addition to Hollywood’s repertoire.