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‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Review – A Bold but Flawed Prequel to ‘Fury Road’

Stunning Stunts, Shallow Story: Furiosa’s Prequel Struggles to Match Fury Road’s Brilliance.

Furiosa A Mad Max Saga Review
Warner Bros. Pictures

George Miller’s prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road is a bold expansion of the apocalyptic wasteland of the world of Mad Max that sadly outstays its welcome.

Nearly a decade ago, Charlize Theron played the first horseman of the apocalypse, Furiosa. With one arm and a streak of black across her face, she was a dark angel helping rescue young women from Immortal Joe (Lachy Hulme). Mad Max: Fury Road became a modern classic, winning six Oscars. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga just can’t match the quality of its predecessor.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Review

Furiosa A Mad Max Saga review
Warner Bros. Pictures

We meet Furiosa as a scrappy kid (Alyla Browne) who is ripped away from the idyllic Green Place of Many Mother as proof to their leader that a prosperous land exists in this arid apocalyptic area. In a thrilling opening sequence, Furiosa’s mother tracks her down and goes to fiery lengths to save her daughter. The biblical imagery isn’t subtle, with crucifixions and the first sin metaphors handled with a heavy hand.

Furiosa ends up being Dementus’ (Chris Hemsworth in a prosthetic nose) surrogate daughter. So, begins Furiosa’s 15-year odyssey to returning home and seeking revenge. Anya Taylor Joy plays the adult Furiosa, who goes undercover as a ‘War Boy’, working on a war rig from Immortal Joe. Here she meets Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke), a hunky, brooding armored truck driver. Burke and Joy’s chemistry is a highlight to this prequel, even if their romance feels like it comes out of the left field.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is ultimately a very stereotypical revenge movie and as a prequel, it’s hard to feel like very much is at stake for the title character. The script, at times, feels very generic, with many almost mute characters using violence to replace words and wasting their minimal dialogue on bloated monologues.

There is no doubt that Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga has some of the most impressive stunt work in recent cinema. There are multiple impressive set pieces, but it starts to get repetitive. There are a limited amount of landscapes, vehicles, and weaponry to play with in this world and it feels like Miller has reached it. There is one set piece mid-film that is so impressive every piece of action that takes place after feels diminished. 

Furiosa A Mad Max Saga Review
Warner Bros. Pictures

Anya Taylor Joy has perfectly mimicked Charlize Theron’s voice and mannerisms, seeking seamlessly into the role. It’s easy to buy both women are the same Furiosa. The title character is a woman of very few words, but she doesn’t have what it takes to foster intrigue in her backstory. Miller and co-writer Nico Lathouris have sadly made Furiosa a secondary character in her own story.

Chris Hemsworth finally gets to unleash his skills and it’s obvious he is delighted in being able to do so. His character could have easily become a larger-than-life caricature but instead is given an unexpected nuance. Dementus gets a surprising amount of growth and dimensions for such a bold baddie, even if his toxic masculinity and taste for showmanship could have been pushed further.

Tom Burke is the quiet backbone of the movie, with his brooding energy matching that of Tom Hardy’s Fury Road version of Max. His performance is one of the most subtle in the film yet is one of the most memorable. These grounded performances juxtapose the cartoonish car chases, where explosions are being thrown through windows and men hurl themselves at each other, often on fire.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga 
Warner Bros. Pictures

Unfortunately, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga outstays its welcome. Furiosa’s eventual retribution feels lackluster while many of the breadcrumbs left by Miller throughout the film aren’t satisfactorily addressed. 

Despite the stunning cinematography, nuanced performances, and breath-taking action sequences, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is often incredibly dry. With bloated and repetitive bike and car chases, poor writing, and underexplored characters, this prequel feels like a disappointing follow-up to the near-perfect Mad Max: Fury Road. Despite its flaws, George Miller is never afraid to go big and make bold choices, even when they do not work out. If any of the time spent on crafting and coordinating stunts was spent creating multi-dimensional characters and a fresh take on the revenge genre.

Grade: B-



Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

As the world falls, young Furiosa is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers into the hands of a great biker horde led by the warlord Dementus. Sweeping through the wasteland, they encounter the citadel presided over by Immortan Joe. The two tyrants wage war for dominance, and Furiosa must survive many trials as she puts together the means to find her way home.

Release Date: May 24, 2024

Director: George Miller

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy , Chris Hemsworth , Tom Burke

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