Hard-driving Charlize Theron steals the show from Tom Hardy's hulking road warrior in director George Miller's eye-popping fourth entry in the post-apocalyptic action series.
The most recent incarnation of the Female Action Hero is Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) in George Miller's long-awaited third sequel to his 1979 cult favourite Mad Max. In a not-too-distant apocalyptic future, Furiosa frees "the breeders," a group of women held captive by the tyrannical Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), and takes it on the lam in a souped-up 18-wheeler, with reluctant road warrior Max Rockatansky (a hulking Tom Hardy) in the passenger seat and Joe's howling hordes of enraged men in hot pursuit. In shifting the focus from Hardy's titular hero to Theron's Furiosa, Fury Road rankled men's rights groups and confounded some critics, proving that the concept of strong female characters is still baffling to many. More importantly, however, the film ditches the typical female-revenge plot and makes Furiosa into something far more powerful: a symbol of self-sufficient survival. While Fury Road unfolds in a fantastical wasteland, it is rooted firmly in the reality that women are capable, resourceful, and immensely powerful human beings.