So Mad Max is not my kind of movie in ever so many ways. Let me count them, in fact.
First, it’s dystopic, which I don’t enjoy seeing. I didn’t even make it through the Hunger Games or any of its sequels and I loved those books.
Second, it’s violent, which is not my thing. I’m — well, if I’m being kind to myself, I’ll pick the words “highly sensitive.” I’ve watched movies that have given me nightmares for months afterwards, so I avoid watching violent stuff. I used to joke that I’d decided to be the last easily shocked person in America, but seriously, there are some television shows that I can’t handle. Movie theater violence is way beyond my ability to tolerate.
Third, it’s filled with car chases and explosions, which I find mostly boring. Long action sequences generally leave me working on my to-do list in my head. Maybe that’s because I’m easily overstimulated, so I start to lose track of what’s going on? I don’t know but I do know that the description of Max Max as “one long extended car chase” is a two thumbs down description for me.
Fourth, I don’t care about the original movies, so there’s no nostalgia factor for me. Fifth, none of the actors mean anything to me. Sixth…maybe that’s enough. Clearly no power on earth is getting me to Max Max: Fury Road.
And then the men’s right activists declared that men should boycott the movie because it’s “feminist” and I got interested. I read a review or two. They raved about the acting, about the depth, about the beauty of the action sequences. I thought well, maybe, but… probably not. Really, it’s just not the kind of thing my psyche can handle. I’m a wimp. (<–That's me not being so kind to myself.)
But when R expressed interest, with the caveat that he was "not sure it's mom appropriate," I said "let's do it." Mostly because going to the movies together was a nice way to celebrate him being home. I figured it if it was too much for me, I'd avert my eyes and stare at the floor.
OMG, what an amazing movie. It was incredible. It was dazzling and beautiful and intense and powerful and the ending… I so want to talk about the ending, which I am not going to do because I can talk to myself without typing and I don't want to spoil it for anyone else. But there's a moment in the movie that was the most powerful statement of respect that I've ever seen a man give to a woman. Seriously, it was shocking. Shocking. And alone, worth the price of admission.
The men’s rights activists are sort of right — Mad Max is the most profoundly feminist movie I’ve ever seen. But it’s almost sad that our language thinks equality and respect are feminist issues, and not simply people issues. Because Mad Max is not just feminist. It triumphantly espouses the idea that everyone can make a difference — women, yes, but also the disabled, the weak, the old, the sick. It was beautiful. And so worth watching.
In the grocery store afterwards, I wanted to poke every stranger I passed and say, “Have you seen Mad Max yet? You should.”
So have you seen Mad Max yet? You should.