Movies and TV
Why Ladies Ruled the 2015 Summer Movie Season

Shant Istamboulian | 25 Sep 2015 01:00
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Another summer movie season has come to a close. With 2014's anemic slate and underwhelming box-office, 2015 had its work cut out for it. Well, I'm happy to report that for the most part, this year's summer slate delivered the goods with several movies that felt like old school summer popcorn fare.

Led by the 800-pound gorilla (er, dinosaur) Jurassic World, which in itself has grossed $1.5 billion worldwide (a robust $643 domestic), this summer had a great variety of films to offer for kids of all ages. Audiences responded by attending cinemas in droves, alleviating fears from Hollywood-types from top to bottom that movie attendance would continue at a downward trend.

Speaking of trends, there was one in particular that stood out (other than the healthy dose of remakes and reboots out there): the female presence. I'm not talking about the Pitch Perfects, which had its very own blockbuster sequel in May thank you very much, but in films typically geared towards males and fanboys.

These women made us laugh, cry, and, best of all, kicked some major butt. Let's take a look at how the summer of 2015 will be remembered as the summer when girls "ruled the earth." (Minor spoilers ahead!)

1. THE WOMEN OF MAD MAX: FURY ROAD

George Miller's long-awaited fourth entry in his gonzo Mad Max series delivered in ways very few movies do. Continuing the conceit he started with the first sequel, 1981's The Road Warrior, Fury Road finds reluctant hero Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy, replacing Mel Gibson) thrown in a battle not his own. After being captured by Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne, who played villain Toe Cutter in the first Max film) and his War Boys, Max inadvertently joins an escape spearheaded by Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron), who has smuggled Joe's five wives away from the prison-like Citadel.

While Hardy is perhaps the only actor who could've taken over the role of Max, Miller has performed a nice sleight of hand here as Fury Road strictly belongs to Furiosa. Theron delivers a stunningly ferocious performance, probably her best since her Oscar-winning turn in Monster, but the film goes deeper through the introduction of Joe's wives, a mixture of the tough and sensitive and played by Zoe Kravitz, Rose Huntington-Whiteley, Riley Keough, Abbey Lee, and Courtney Eaton, and yet even further when they join with a woman tribe called the Vivulani. It is these women that infuse a great abundance of emotion amidst the stunts and spectacle, topped by an resonate moment between Max and Furiosa in the film's climax.

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