We are not things
I am thankful that a forty year-old disabled woman can be the main character of an action movie. I am thankful that George Miller can not only combat the macho, faux-masculine baloney that constitutes so many action movies these days, but that he can also still create superior action scenes whilst making this point. I am thankful that a group of warrior women of all ages can make up the ragtag band of revolutionaries that sit at the core of any proper dystopia. I am thankful that the women who play the prisoners can be three-dimensional people with dreams, personalities, badass names, and agency, not just helpless pregnant damsels. I am thankful that more than one woman can make it out of an action film alive, and that “Vasquez” doesn’t always die. I am thankful that a woman and a man can share top billing in a brutal, action-packed setpiece without ever once kissing each other or musing about running away as a couple. I am thankful that the creator of one of the most lucrative and culty “man movie” franchises of all time would consult the writer of The Vagina Monologues to look over his new script. I am thankful for that scene wherein Max (Tom Hardy) screws up two difficult shots and needs Furiosa (Charlize Theron) to snipe a difficult target. I am thankful for the name “Max Rockatansky” and the opening credits that feature only two names. I am thankful that Miller and Nicholas Hoult can turn a sociopathic mook into a sympathetic character in under an hour. I am thankful that Hugh Keays-Byrne still acts, and that the same actor can play different characters in films by the same director, a la Leone’s spaghetti westerns and grindhouse fare of every stripe. I am thankful that the MPAA no longer takes issue with the fact that a female character “fights back.” I am thankful that a movie like this did not deafen me; in fact, I wanted to listen.
Mad Max: Fury Road (2015); written by George Miller, Brendan McCarthy, and Nico Lathouris; directed by George Miller; starring Charlize Theron, Tom Hardy, Nicholas Hoult.