[Also, before I go any further into this Very Serious Review: THROW ME IN THE TRASH, FURY ROAD IS AN EXPLODING MUTANT MASTERPIECE OF LIZARD-CHOMPING, FLAMING GUITAR-PLAYING GENIUS. I spent the first third having heart palpitations over Max's mask and blood tube, the second third thinking, "WHAT THE FUCK!? DUDES ON POLES WITH CHAINSAWS!?" and the final third having some kind of religious experience where I wanted to cry because Tom Hardy made a quizzical grunting noise or the Motorcycle Matriarchy had shown up to save the day, or simply because We Are Not Things, dammit!
And then I went home and read a metric fuckload of behind-the-scenes coverage, because this was a rare instance where that shit is legitimately interesting. Did you know they shot 480 hours of footage? And yet the editor, Margaret Sixel, pulled it all together into one of the most comprehensible and dynamic action narratives I've ever seen! Give that woman an Oscar.]
In every regard, Fury Road was made for me. It took my favourite genre (wildly over-stylized apocalyptic fantasy) and imbued it with emotional and political themes I understood on a personal level. For too long, I've had to watch Hollywood blockbusters with part of my brain switched off, attempting to ignore their obsession with cops and soldiers and steroid-inflated machismo. BUT NO LONGER, MY FRIENDS. No longer.
Obviously I do appreciate characters like Captain America and James Bond, but the fact is that they are not my heroes. What personal connection can I possibly have to Bruce Wayne? None, even as a power fantasy. Whereas with Fury Road, I can really feel this shit. It fulfills my desire to see women work together to protect each other, and for people to overthrow their destructive and abusive leaders. It works on a fundamental level because I know what it's like to live in a world ruined by centuries of pollution, controlled by a cruel patriarchal culture that disregards the souls and bodies of women.
You can hardly describe Fury Road as realistic, but its story felt real to me in every way that counts.