I’m not what you’d call an action movie kind of woman. I’ve never really seen the point of going to the cinema to watch people hurtling about, making a mess and yelling. I can get that at home any day of the week. Fighty films just seem pointless, ditto chases and jumping out and ambushing ones.
The boys, Panther included, occupy the sitting room on a Saturday night while some very loud film assaults the peace for the best part of two hours. It has been suggested that refusing their kind offer to join them makes me less of a team player, but I’m sure I wouldn’t bring anything much to their party.
It’s The Hobbit tonight and, to show willing, I’ve asked once or twice whether it’s the hairy ones or the ugly ones who are winning. There was some sport in spotting which actor it was under what preposterous prosthetic proboscis, but it really wasn’t enough.
But, I have always had a bit of a soft spot for the Mad Max franchise.
To begin with it was almost certainly something to do with Mel Gibson. I know old Mel hasn’t improved with age, but back then not only was he seriously attractive but he made some very cool films too. Seek out The Year of Living Dangerously and you’ll see what I mean.
This year there’s a brand new Mad Max. Mercifully MG hasn’t got anything to do with it. Brutalised pretty boy isn’t a successful look when you’re nearly 60.
The new version stars Tom Hardy who looks a little bit like Dermot O’Leary might if he’d had a very tense day at work on a badly run building site. This is actually a good thing.
The film itself is mostly a car chase/bike chase/truck chase. In fact, there are hardly any minutes when it’s not a car chase, preparation for a car chase or the aftermath of a car chase. Yet, it’s gripping and much, much richer than you’d think.
From the shocking glimpse of the milking parlour of lactation, to the point you meet mutilated and flinty-eyed Furiosa. There’s nothing token about the female characters here. A pregnant belly is used as a shield and a menopausal biker gang roar into action. It’s kind of the point of the thing and, in case you hadn’t noticed, that’s what the ‘meeting the wives and cutting off the chastity belts’ scene is all about. It’s the bit where you come round the back of a sand dune to find a War Rig, bald and grumpy Furiosa and several golden-limbed beauties swathed in flowing fabric hosing each other down with precious water.
I sighed and resigned myself to enduring the usual sexist tosh and spending the rest of the film considering the lecture my sons would get about the various wrongness of it. Only I was wrong. The golden-limbed babes are every bit as ballsy as the blokes and are fleeing from – not hunting – a husband. One of them glories in the name of Toast The Knowing (doesn’t improve her feminist cred, but it’s a fabulous name).
No feminist talk was necessary on the way home. Instead Boy Two said: “Slow down mum, this is not a War Rig.” I can’t think why.