In Mad Max: Fury Road, violence is all about power. As George Miller puts it, "This story is one that has been fairly constant throughout history, meaning that women and indeed other human beings have been basically the goods and chattels of the powerful." See, when one guy starts treating other folks like property, the only way he can hang onto that power is through violence—or the threat of it at the very least. The Wasteland and the Citadel are horrible places, where those in power exercise it by brutalizing their underlings.
Questions About Violence
Is violence redemptive in Fury Road, or just plain terrible? Do you think Max and Furiosa could have achieved their redemption without resorting to, say, blowing people up?
What are the different women's attitudes toward violence in the flick? Think about Furiosa, the breeders, and the Vuvalini—is their variation in their respective viewpoints?
In what ways is Immortan Joe a violent character? We don't see him fist-fighting or shooting people much, and yet he's responsible for all this destruction. Does that make him violent, despite the fact that he rarely pulls the trigger?
Chew on This
Violence is all about necessity for our protagonists. Both Max and Furiosa clearly look forward to the day when they won't have to shoot anyone anymore. Not that that day is likely to come anytime soon.
Immortan Joe's violence comes from his belief that people aren't people—they're things to be exploited.