By Gino Riccardi (Santa Ana, California)


For the generation of moviegoers who are unfamiliar with George Miller’s post-apocalyptic masterpiece, Mad Max: Fury Road is a rip roaring, stylistic treat on wheels that doesn’t stop until the very last face-ripping explosion.

I was pleasantly surprised that they weren’t retooling the franchise for the new generation and instead, added a new chapter to the ongoing saga. And who better to reintroduce Mad Max to the new generation than the old man, George Miller himself? Nobody, that’s who.

Now, to be honest, I’m not much of an action-film guy myself. I’ve boycotted all of the Transformer movies and I won’t be watching Furious 7 without somebody putting a gun to my head. But give me X-Men or Guardians of the Galaxy; give me anything where action meets plot and tie it all together with a unifying theme and I’ll be all over it. Fury Road has all of those things!

For the action movie fanatic, it’s two hours and change of virtually uninterrupted action sequence with visually stunning effects and some of the hottest girls on film. And for those of us who like to think during an action flick, it’s got some serious underlying social criticism.

First, the most important things in the world are gas, water, and women. This should sound pretty familiar. If you’re a Mad Max fan, the water and gas thing is a bit of a re-visitation albeit realistic in that commodified resources are pretty much the stuff that modern wars are made of. And if you don’t think women are a commodity in this day and age, you need to take a look around. Really, people are a commodity and everyone is for sale if you really want to dissect it, and the movie touches on that aspect as well.

And how does is touch on that aspect, you ask? Well, there’s something very biblical about what’s going on in the movie. It’s true the films antagonist, Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), chases after his wives through the whole movie, which has stirred up controversy among men’s groups because of… honestly, who cares why? But the movie is clear in showing the importance of Joe’s wives as baby-making machines, serving the utilitarian purpose of propagating new generations of loyal followers.

Immortan Joe (Byrne) is more than your run-of-the-mill psychotic super villain. He’s a patriarch and spiritual leader who manages all the resources in an otherwise lifeless wasteland, who also purports himself to be some sort of connection to the great beyond. All of the sudden it makes sense that his followers would willingly blow themselves up to carry out his will, and why the only women who survive in the post-apocalyptic future are the ones you want to see naked. After all, if you were Immortan Joe, wouldn’t you choose nothing but the best?

If there’s one objection I have, it’s that Tom Hardy might be a little too sexy to pass as a post-apocalyptic road warrior. Maybe they could’ve given chapped lips or just given the part to Joaquin Phoenix. But Hardy holds his own as an action hero, even if Max is more of a narrative character in this movie. Charlize Theron on the other hand, who has shown us these kinds of acting chops in Monster, gets her fair share of ass-kick as the heroine of the movie and held it down in what turned out to be the lead protagonist role. As hot as we all know she is in reality, they ugly her up just enough to make her a believable Furiosa, and her bionic hand gave her that extra Mad Max edge.

Try and guess who gets their face ripped off at the end. You might be surprised.

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