Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Glen Weldon and Chris Klimek discuss Mad Max: Fury Road, director George Miller's cinematic return to a post-apocalyptic wasteland that boasts a weirdly thriving car culture.
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Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

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Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

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Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

Small Batch: 'Mad Max: Fury Road'

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Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa. Jasin Boland/Warner Bros. hide caption

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Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Tom Hardy as Max Rockatansky and Charlize Theron as Imperator Furiosa.

Jasin Boland/Warner Bros.

Another sequel, another chance for Hollywood to hurl metal hither and yon and make with the flashy summer blockbuster blow-'em-ups. Yawn, right?

So you might think. But I asked Chris Klimek to help me unpack why so many critics are praising Mad Max: Fury Road as something altogether different. We discuss the original Mad Max trilogy from our different perspectives and analyze how Fury Road fits in — or doesn't. Chris, who wrote a great review for NPR, wonders how a sequel to an '80s franchise can seem inventive. We discuss what Charlize Theron brings to the (sand-blasted, diesel-soaked) table, and we touch on the gratifyingly rich discussion that's emerged over the movie's possible status as a feminist parable.

Oh, and make your day better by reading The Toast's excellent discussion of the film.

What Chris and I don't talk about: why Tom Hardy spends so much of the film with a mask covering his soft, pillowy lips. Which, let's be clear, is the filmmaking equivalent of taking Gretzky off the ice to hawk beer in the stands.