In the Dark

Women on the Loose

Mad Max: Fury Road
Produced by Village Roadshow Pictures 
Written and directed by George Miller 
Distributed by Warner Brothers 

Ex Machina
Produced by Film 4 
Written and directed by Alex Garland 
Distributed by Universal Pictures 

We never know how feminism will show up at the movies.  We only know that it will.  Currently, it’s on display in George Miller’s rabid action film Mad Max: Fury Road and the quietly cerebral science-fiction allegory Ex Machina.  How it fits in either enterprise seems at first an unanswerable question until one considers the profit motive.  Feminism, like homosexualism, currently pays nearly inexhaustible dividends at the box office.

Mad Max is another in the series of postapocalyptic movies that began with Mel Gibson wandering about an Australian desert in 1979.  The current iteration, like the first, is populated by barbarous freaks crouched astride flame-throwing motorcycles or seated behind the wheels of steroidal muscle cars.  All of these vehicles roar constantly through the film’s running time as if they are obnoxiously protesting the gas shortage the storyline mentions so frequently, perhaps to display its environmental conscience.  You wouldn’t think feminism would flourish in...

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