So… Mad Max: Fury Road.

In broad terms I think there are two kinds of films: those that get better on further reflection and those that get worse. Fury Road is one that falls into the first category. At first glance it is THE FILM WITH NO PLOT, basically one long chase sequence with anything resembling character development sacrificed to yet another car explosion.
However on reflection it is a film with a surprising number of layers. The first and probably the most noticeable is just how much agency the female characters have, in fact that rather understates it. Charlize Theron character’s – Imperator Furiosa – makes at least ninety percent of the running. The plan to rescue the five wives of the despot is her plan and by the time she meets Max she’s successfully pulled off the first stage of the plan. Max is virtually a supporting character; I have to wonder whether this film started life as a ‘Furiosa’ film with Mad Max only tacked on when a Hollywood suit realised they were in danger of making an original film and panicked.
Even the secondary female roles make significant contributions as willing human shields that their attackers can’t simply shoot through. Considering in most of the films I watch the female characters are the trophy that is awarded to the hero at the conclusion, usually without an acknowledgement that even conceivably she could have an option on the matter. A strange thing to find in a film that appears to be this years biggest dumbest film.
Another layer can be found in the form of Nicholas Hoult’s Warboy character, who gives us an examination of how individuals can be persuaded to sacrifice their own interests to a charismatic leader who controls through both means of production and religion.
In more general terms the visuals are impressive with physical effects front and centre. CGI I presume was used for some shots only because I haven’t heard anything about Charlize Theron having her arm amputated. I saw it in 3D and I remain unconvinced it is worth the effort or the gimmicky shots that it seems to bring to a film.
This isn’t an good film, its an okay film. Had they ditched the Mad Max character completely and spent the time on developing Imperator Furiosa, her history, her motivations and fleshing out the world she lives in, then perhaps it could have been good.

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