Mad Max: Fury Road ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

This is the best movie ever made about the worst summer road trip. It's sort of like National Lampoon's Nightmare Roadtrip Vacation.

Or...

Not only is this the best Mad Max movie of the series (I can't believe there are people that believe Thunderdome is a good movie - it seems to be generational too), it's also easily the best film I've seen this year and the best film I've seen in a long time. Possibly the best film ever? Okay, yes, I am being a tad hyperbolic. Maybe.

The action is unrelenting. The utilization of real stunts (as opposed to CGI stuff) makes for a hyper-realistic feel. Director Miller's world is wonderfully imagined and fully realized, with a distinct look that fits somewhere between vintage Heavy Metal comics and Terry Gilliam. And then, as the journey continues farther and farther out, the settings begin to morph into pop surrealist landscapes.

And the story is also thin enough to not get in the way of multiple watchings (I have a theory that the best movies have the thinnest plots so you can keep watching them over and over without the story getting old), and yet is engaging and takes us to some unexpected places.

I've seen a number of what appear to be new 4th Wave Feminist interpretations of this film (if such a "wave" actually exists, it currently seems to be characterized as a type of Millennial feminism that seems primarily focused on media critique and representations of women in fictional worlds - with issues over Batgirl, Game of Thrones, and The Avengers - while overlooking actions by conservatives who continue to erode women's reproductive rights in the real world), and they are pretty spot on - but I'm not sure that's Miller's central (or at least sole) intent.

What I haven't seen a lot on (and it could be out there, I honestly haven't looked prior to seeing the movie - it's just that the Feminist interpretations were unavoidable due to social media), is the Marxist take on Fury Road. So allow me...

I see Fury Road as an anti-capitalist indictment. It's about the problems exclusive, individual ownership of what should be public commons cause and the sort of perverse, inhuman dystopia that will result from such extreme wealth consolidation.

What caused the end of the world? Capitalist exploitation. What has caused the enslavement of citizens of the Citadel by Immortan Joe? Extreme disparities of wealth and private control of public utilities like oil and water - which is a very real problem in the world right now. As well as human trafficking. And bizarre religious extremism used as a tool to motivate radicals and subjugate the masses.

All this AND magnificent, crazy-assed monster cars that would thrill any kustom car enthusiast or gearhead?

Plus stunts so brutal that you'll find yourself saying "oof" out loud at least twice during the movie?

Yes, it has a refreshingly feminist perspective (which can almost verge on hokey in terms of women as mothers to the earth - the bag of seeds, the pregnant woman carrying the perfect child, etc.), but it also has a decidedly anti-capitalist perspective too.

Mad Max: Fury Road is a fucking masterpiece.

Report this review