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FURIOUS: A MAD MAX SAGA

I Warner Bros. Pictures Canada I May 24, 2024 I 148 mins. I

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88%

* As of 5/23/24

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Alyla Browne, George Shevtsov, Lachy Hulme, John Howard Angus Sampson, Charlee Fraser, Elsa Pataky, Nathan Jones

Directed By: George Miller

As the world fell, young Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers and falls into the hands of a great Biker Horde led by the Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). Sweeping through the Wasteland, they come across the Citadel presided over by The Immortan Joe.

While the two Tyrants war for dominance, Furiosa must survive many trials as she puts together the means to find her way home.

REVIEW BY: Darren Zakus

RATING 4.5 out of 5

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a cinematic odyssey of epic proportions, combining the jaw-dropping action of the Mad Max series with a riveting origin story for the titular heroine, brought to life by two dazzling performances from Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth.

 

Back in 2015, George Miller reinvigorated the Mad Max series with Mad Max: Fury Road, which to this day is still considered one of the greatest action films ever made. It was with that film that Miller first introduced audiences to Imperator Furiosa, one of the most badass female characters to ever grace the silver screen thanks to Charlize Theron’s riveting performance. Instead of continuing Max Rockatansky’s story for the next entry in the Mad Max series, Miller turns the spotlight to Furiosa, conjuring up a sprawling epic that gives the character a backstory to explain how she became the awesome individual who crossed paths with Max Rockatansky in the Wasteland. Knowing exactly what he is doing, Miller does not repeat Mad Max: Fury Road, delivering a character driven story that spans fifteen years infused with the same electrifying action sequences that made Fury Road a hit, delivering one outstanding prequel that never fails to excite.

 

With such a rich world to play with, Miller once again conjures up a riveting experience for audiences. The story that he weaves for Furiosa is straightforward, but never for a second dull, giving the character a worthy origin story that takes her right up to the events of Mad Max: Fury Road. There are lots of nods to the character we first met in Fury Road, teasing the fan favourite character while giving her an origin that not only stands on its own, but further enriches her character arc over the two films. While telling Furiosa’s story, Miller gives audiences a more insightful glimpse into the world of the Wasteland. Diving into the politics and trade between The Citadel, Gastown and the Bullet Farm, all surrounding the power struggle between Immortan Joe and Dementus, Miller utilizes the world building to drive the central conflict of the film as Furiosa fights for a way home and to seek revenge on Dementus. As with the previous films in the series, Miller does not get bogged down by exposition or filling in unnecessary details, never over indulging on world building to keep Furiosa’s character arc moving along to turn her into the war hero that audiences first met almost a decade ago. Clocking in at the two and a half hour mark, Miller keeps the film flying by with a quick pace and screenplay, delivering set piece after set piece that never fail for a second to amaze, even if the first two chapters of the film could have been slightly trimmed in length to create an even tighter film.

 

Taking over the role of Furiosa from Theron, Anya Taylor-Joy is nothing short of marvellous. From the second she appears on screen, Taylor-Joy embodies the righteous and loyal spirit of Furiosa, commanding the screen with a strength and electrifying presence. She does so without uttering much dialogue, instead using her piercing facial expressions and expressive body language to allow the audience to feel every emotional beat of her character’s odyssey. While it’s unclear if Taylor-Joy will reprise her performance as Furiosa in any future Mad Max film, but with the truly masterful work she has done in this film, I truly hope she does because the world needs more of her as Furiosa. Alyla Browne is great as the film’s younger version of Furiosa, matching the intensity that Taylor-Joy brings to the role to help set up Furiosa’s character arc over the course of the film. Tom Burke is very good as Praetorian Jack, the principal commander of The Citadel's forces, who has excellent on screen chemistry with Taylor-Joy. 

 

And then there is Chris Hemsworth as the film’s villain Dementus. Hemsowrth is bloody brilliant in the role, embodying a silly humorous tone to disarm the audience before unleashing the twisted, merciless wrath of his character. It’s a scene stealing performance that lets Hemsworth go completely off the rails, conjuring up one of his most exciting performances to date that truly allows him to expand his range as an actor beyond the usual roles he is cast in. Never for a second is Hemsworth out of place in Miller’s world, matching Miller’s dark and truly out there tone in every scene, helping to create one of the most memorable villains of the series. His moments with Taylor-Joy are some of the film’s best, especially their climactic showdown in the third act which will have the audience holding their breath as they watch Taylor-Joy and Hemsworth go head to head with their sensational performances.

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It truly comes as no surprise that the action sequences in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga are once again one mad, dazzling spectacle after another. Miller’s expert direction conjures up precise set pieces brought to life by incredible practical special effects and an unparalleled vision. With explosions left, right and centre, the ante is upped with even more exciting and bonkers sequences, taking the action beyond the vehicular warfare that we experienced in Mad Max: Fury Road. In all of these sequences, Taylor-Joy is phenomenal, fully embodying the vengeful spirit of Furiosa and proving herself a true movie star in every sense of the word. Accompanying these sequences and the entire film is Simon Duggan’s excellent cinematography which captures the barren beauty of the Wasteland in every shot and the full scale of Miller’s gigantic vision, while Tom Holkenborg’s bombastic musical score energizes the entire film. Much like its predecessor, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is nothing short of a flawless technical marvel.


There was no chance that George Miller was going to eclipse the masterful Mad Max: Fury Road with his latest film in the series, which he himself knew, setting him on the path to create a different beast of a Mad Max film that is every bit as exciting and spellbinding to behold. Possessing the same technical prowess he has displayed in all his previous films, George Miller has crafted a wild, truly jaw-dropping spectacle that deepens the mythology of the Mad Max franchise while taking audiences on one unforgettable adventure. In the words of the war boys, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a prequel worthy of Valhalla as George Miller orchestrates a fantastic, action filled epic that is nothing short of a breathtaking return to the world of Mad Max that is an exhilarating blockbuster experience thanks to the mesmerizing work of Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth!

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