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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Updated: 3 days ago

The prequel to Fury Road delivers on action and backstory



Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) was a milestone in action filmmaking, using stunts and practical explosions in daring and impetuous ways, setting the bar for all future chase sequences. The fuel-drenched escapades of Fury Road were dominated, not by the titular male protagonist, but by Charlize Theron’s gritty heroine, Furiosa. Now, filmmaker George Miller has brought us the origin story of that character in Furiosa: A Mad Max saga (2024).

 

Furiosa finds our eponymous character as a child (Alyla Browne) living in an Eden-like community, hidden from the rest of a dystopian Australia. However, Furiosa is kidnapped by raiders, and brought to biker warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). Furiosa is exposed to the warring factions and tribes of survivors, growing up traded and tossed amongst these surviving elements of humanity and becoming a young and fierce warrior (Anya Taylor-Joy).

 

The first two acts of Furiosa are amongst the best action cinema put to screen in the last few years. We get unrelenting chase and action sequences, using the same immersive stunts and choreography that impressed audiences nine years ago. The aesthetic vision of the Mad Max world is also maintained, with a fantastic technical team delivering gorgeous cinematography, immersive sound mixing, and inventive production designs.

 

Fury Road’s simplicity, needing to go from point A to point B, helped keep the narrative taut. Furiosa’s complexity delivers an engaging and convincing character study, but Miller’s cinematic ambition also gets the better of him, and the film begins to bloat. When being forced to choose whether to develop a plot point and doing an action sequences, Miller chooses the latter. This showcases an impressive stamina and technical acumen, yet also dilutes and shortchanges important narrative elements. A seemingly important romance is left implied rather than cemented, a third act war, built up to throughout the film, glossed over in voice over, and an avenging confrontation dragged out in multiple fake-outs. The result is a third act that sags and repeats itself, losing the speed and acceleration that had been kept up to that point.

 

Taylor-Joy and Hemsworth are both fantastic in the film. Taylor-Joy in a largely non-verbal role, which uses her iconic eyes to convey a hardening journey and transformation. Hemsworth is unrecognizable as an equally twisted and irresistible villain that is the pinnacle of his current acting work. Half of Furiosa, however, is carried by the young Browne, who is tasked with carrying out a wider range of Furiosa’s character arc than Taylor-Joy and does so with an unhesitating determination and convincing vulnerability.  

 

Furiosa is yet another thrilling epic from Miller. The first two acts are tense and irresistible, but the carte blanche the director was given shows its excesses in the third act, as we are hit with redundancies and unnecessary elongation. Nevertheless, the fearless work from the gripping technical team and the fabulous acting ensemble are enough to make Furiosa another impressive cinematic entry in this saga.

7.8/10

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About Young Critic

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I've been writing on different version of this website since February of 2013. I originally founded the website in a film-buff phase in high school, but it has since continued through college and into my adult life. Young Critic may be getting older, but the love and passion for film is forever young. 

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