What a Lovely Day

Happy 5th birthday to the best action movie of the '10s!

In honor of the 5th anniversary of Mad Max: Fury Road’s theatrical release (May 15, 2015), here’s 5 reasons to rent (or buy!) this iconic movie this weekend:

  1. Furiosa: Look, as much as I love Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) as (mostly-silent) Mad Max Rockatansky, this movie isn’t about him. This recommendation isn’t about him. This is about Imperator Furiosa, played by Charlize Theron (Atomic Blonde). She’s the moral center of the film, with Furiosa fighting for not only her survival but for that of big bad Immortan Joe’s wives, as well. Her story is a powerful one of redemption, love and hope, and Theron lends both grace and raw strength to the portrayal. Brava. (Oh, and Furiosa’s getting a prequel — no Theron, though.)

  2. Feminism: I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that the central event in the movie is sex slaves running away from their captor. They leave behind phrases like “we are not things” around the place they were oppressed by a vicious patriarchal structure that still, unfortunately, exists post-apocalypse. It’s perhaps not subtle, but it’s necessary. And it got the film plenty of backlash (be warned, this might burn your eyes). It’s at the top of my list of movies that I ran to see because it was called feminist propaganda, and it delivers.

  3. Fury Road: The titular road is a spectacular backdrop for the equally spectacular action scenes throughout. Mad Max: Fury Road has brains, of course, but it’s also got brawn. It’s got a lot of heft to its bold chase scenes, which feature War Rigs, spear-throwing, sandstorms, blood bags, assault bikes — and a brutal, thrilling, bright-orange insight into what life is like without water.

  4. Film-making: The New York Times published an oral history of Mad Max: Fury Road. The film-making process? Absolutely bonkers. I’d say the movie is worth watching just so you can see the results of the nine month long shoot.

  5. Flame-throwing: There’s a flame-throwing guitarist strapped to the front of a car equipped with an entirely unnecessary sound system. That’s all.

If you’re not buying that Mad Max: Fury Road is that good, that’s okay. Here’s five other personal action favorites that you might enjoy:

  1. John Wick. The fight choreography alone makes this movie worthwhile.

  2. Atomic Blonde. Charlize Theron does it again!

  3. Pacific Rim. I’ve talked about it as a razzle dazzler, but damn, if it doesn’t have heart.

  4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Bucky’s back and worse than ever. Also, the elevator fight!

  5. Edge of Tomorrow. Visceral.

That’s all from me, folks. Stay safe, sane and healthy, and don’t forget — if you have to die historic, do it on the fury road.