There is still one thing that cinema, alone among all other artistic mediums, is uniquely gifted in: getting an audience member into a large, dark room and then overawing them, seducing them, muscling them into submission.
You can write about Fury Road's feminism or its worldbuilding or its commentary on humanity's barbaric soul, and you'd probably be on to something there. This is the work of the superego, though—an interpretive act engaged in once the heart rate has returned to normal. Fury Road proper is more interested in seizing upon the primal responses of its audience. As cinema, it marshals all the power of larger-than-life sound and image to play you like an instrument. If there is one aspect of this film that serves as a synecdoche for the whole, it's the bass chord that recurs throughout the film's soundtrack: booming once, perhaps twice, with a tectonic thrum that vibrates the viewer's intestines. The film may just be lights on a screen, but it produces visceral sensation.
Watching Fury Road for the second time, I was struck by its commonalities with silent film, particularly the films of Buster Keaton. Imperator Furiosa's war rig—with its barreling speed and the people who ride inside it and climb around its exterior—is reminiscent of the locomotive in The General, while the intricate action choreography recalls Keaton's remarkable stunt work. Did Keaton make his films to comment on human nature or tell a complex story? His main goal was to thrill: make 'em laugh, make 'em sigh, make 'em gasp. For him, the exhilaration of movement—of movies—was enough.