Skip to main content

Celebrity Toronto film critic calls Mad Max a ‘man’s movie’

A scene from Mad Max

Jasin Boland

Whatever else we might think about a post-apocalyptic future, we'd like to hope there aren't any embarrassingly absurd questions about women there.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said for press events promoting Mad Max: Fury Road.

The film, the latest in the franchise that made Mel Gibson famous, stars Tom Hardy in the title role and Charlize Theron as a badass with a shaved head named Furiosa.

Story continues below advertisement

That a woman could not only survive on her own in a post-apocalayptic world but also hold her own in an action movie is freaking plenty of people out.

"Misogynists are losing it over Charlize Theron's starring role in Mad Max: Fury Road," one headline recently put it.

And of course there's a Feminist Mad Max Tumblr account. Hey, girl, it's important that some of us have a sense of humour.

But apparently some people are still having a hard time making sense of why all these women are in an action movie.

Peter Howell, movie critic for The Toronto Star, seems to be among the confused.

At a press conference for Mad Max at the Cannes Film Festival, Howell stood and asked Hardy a question.

"As you were reading the script, did you ever think, 'Why are all these women in here? I thought this was supposed to be a man's movie?'" he asked.

Story continues below advertisement

Many people on social media have called Howell out for what they say is a "stupid" and "sexist" question.

Here are a few questions we'd like to add to the mix:

Why does an action movie need to be a "man's movie"? What does a "man's movie" look like? Of course, it's easy to guess. Rambo comes to mind. But I suppose to be certain we'll have to wait for the "all-male" Ghostbusters Sony is working on to show us the way. Another question, whoever said the new Mad Max is "supposed" to be a man's movie? And one last question: Even if film critics don't intend to be sexist, could they at least word their questions more carefully?

In a statement to BuzzFeed, Howell said his question was "intended as the opposite of sexism."

He explained, "I was congratulating him for his willingness to share the screen with so many strong women in a franchise and genre more inclined to celebrate the male over the female. He was also willing to be in a co-lead role with Charlize Theron, in a movie called MAD MAX, no less. I think a lot of male stars might have objected to this, but Hardy is of a special breed."

He sure is. When Howell asked him if he was surprised by all these women in the script, Hardy answered, "No. Not for one minute."

Story continues below advertisement

Then he gave his fellow cast members some serious side-eye, as if to say, "Can you believe this guy?"

No, we really can't.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

Cannabis pro newsletter