Note: This article is also available in Spanish.
So as I was watching this film I came to two conclusions. First Aaron Clarey at Return of Kings (once again we note, Clarey is not an MRA and Return of Kings is a noted anti-MRA site–eds) didn’t watch the film before he blasted it. Secondly, this is NOT a feminist film.
This film starts with Mad Max being chased down, beaten and shaved, tattooed like an animal, and turned into a living blood bank. Every single person in this society but the leaders are treated as property and animals. In the post apocalyptic world the ladies with large girth and buxom breasts are treated literally as cows. They are milked. The beautiful women are treated as “breeders” and are the subject of the main villain Immortan Joe’s desires and the reason for this 2 hour car chase. Lets be clear here, this is NOT a misogynistic society. They do not hate or have disdain for women in this society, women are treated as objects and are insanely valuable. Abuse isn’t always misogynistic.
In contrast men are valued for two things, either hard labor grunts, or warriors expected to sacrifice themselves spray painted on the face with silver paint awaiting their rebirth in a post apocalyptic Valhalla. Both main roles for men are as disposable objects–with the exception of the “blood bags.” They either live their lives working themselves to death, or die on the road in a futile attempt for redemption in hopes their miserable existence will give them a glorious second life in paradise. Make no mistake, this film highlights misandry, not misogyny in society. Ironically, it seems, George Miller did this on accident in his attempt to make a supposed “feminist” film.
Back to Max. With his back freshly tattooed and hanging from a bird styled cage having his blood drained for Nux’s benefit, Furiosa leaves to fill her tanker with gasoline. With her “breeder” cargo secretly stowed away in the tanker she soon veers off the road to the refinery and sets in motion the most epic car chase ever captured on film. With her treachery exposed Immortan Joe races to his harem locked in a chamber behind a vault door to find it emptied of his prized “breeders.” Littered throughout the chamber are messages like “Our babies will not be warlords” and “we are not objects” written in white paint. These women are pissed, and rightfully so.
With that, the chase is on. A very weak Nux vies for the top spot in the chase strapping his “blood bag” Max to the front of his car with a direct IV feeding into his arm. Max is valued for his O negative blood, a prized commodity, with Nux being expected to literally suicide himself for the greater good. What ensues is nothing short of remarkable. Decked out steampunk styled cars pile up one after an other in an amazing car chase that includes, I kid you not, a car with a live musician on the roof playing guitar in front of about a dozen speakers. Normally this wouldn’t work but Miller sells this cartoonish monstrosity with ease. Absolutely wonderful addition to the film. Max eventually escapes his plight on the front of his car during a sandstorm and ends up on Furiosa’s truck in her mad rush for the “Green Place” and the “Good Mothers.” By the time they find the “Good Mothers” Nux has switched sides as he falls for one of the “breeders.” Human nature prevails in this film, and when given the chance the two main male characters of Nux and Max both fall into their hyper-masculinized characteristics of the male protective instincts.
Here’s where Miller’s supposed feminist vision falls to absolute pieces. This matriarchy of the Good Mothers have been getting raided by many parties looking for women and resources, and they have killed every single man they could in their paranoia irrespective of their character or intentions. #killallmen anyone? In their absolute paranoia they have failed to increase their numbers by procreation (every man they see they kill on sight), and failed to secure any male protection making them incredibly vulnerable. Now feminists will contend they do just fine, but when Furiosa is surprised to not see dozens of women, if not hundreds, we come to one inevitable conclusion. True matriarchies either destroy themselves, or are subject to the whims of conquerors. Either way, like this feminist utopia, true matriarchies die due to their own paranoid delusions. This single scene does more to hurt feminism and its goals of matriarchal domination than any scene in the history of cinema. This all from a supposedly feminist film.
The entire crew turns around and heads back to liberate the now undefended citadel, and restore hope to the people starving and dying of thirst. This is a wonderful film about restoring justice to the downtrodden and oppressed. This is a film about the humanity of both genders, the desire for love and compassion. This is a film about the deposition of tyrants and the liberation of the hopeless.
The landscapes are breathtaking. The filmmaking is second to none. Despite being the purest action film I’ve ever seen, and I’m a total film junkie, the characters are fully flushed out. Character development isn’t lacking; these people seem real. This is exactly like a Michael Bay film should be but aren’t. This film celebrates masculinity, it celebrates femininity.
This isn’t a feminist film. This is a humanist film.
George Miller may have created one of a long line of films that ultimately bring the human race together instead of tearing it apart, despite Eve Ensler’s best efforts.