Furiosa – A Mad Max Saga

Director: George Miller
Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Alyla Browne and Lachy Hulme
Distributor: Universal Pictures International
Runtime: 148 mins. Reviewed in May 2024
Reviewer: Peter W Sheehan
| JustWatch |
Rating notes: Strong violence and injury detail

This action-adventure film is the fifth instalment in the Mad Max franchise, and tells the story of Furiosa trying to find her way back home after being forcibly abducted from her family.

This science-fiction, adventure-action film is written by director George Miller and Nico Lathouris, and is a spin-off and prequel to the movie, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015). It is set some 15 to 20 years before the events of Fury Road. Heavy with violence and high-octane, graphic action, the film depicts female warrior, Furiosa (Taylor-Joy), before she teamed up with Mad Max, and it focuses on the origins of Furiosa as a woman trying to survive among warring males, while taking vengeance on the man who abducted her.

Taylor-Joy takes over the role originated by Charlize Theron in Fury Road. In this movie, Furiosa is taken forcibly from the “Green Place of Many Mothers”, and delivered into the hands of the great Biker Horde led by the film’s chief warlord villain, Dr Dementus (Hemsworth), who kidnapped and then adopted her. The film is focused on Furiosa spending the rest of her life trying to return.

Furiosa has to endure dangerous and life-threatening situations to stay alive. Crossing the barren Wasteland, she comes across the Citadel presided over by Immortan Joe (Hulme), who is at war with Dementus – both men savagely want to preserve their dominance. Many of the actors in Fury Road (2015) have returned to lend their talents to the prequel, and new actors such as Taylor-Joy, have been introduced to take lead roles. Although not seen (or heard), it is easy to imagine Mad Max out there somewhere in the sands of Wasteland watching.

In Fury Road, Mad Max helped captive women escape, who were vital to the continuation of the human race, and who were concubines of the dictator Immortan Joe. This film, as with the 2015 film, relies heavily on furious, savagely delivered action. One chase scene has more than 50 characters, 200 stunt performers, and lasts for a quarter of an hour. The movie contains minimal dialogue and gives scant recognition to the significance of hope, redemption, and the search for a better self. Character development in the film takes place mostly through the action, and the film uses elaborate, eye-catching set designs to highlight its effects.

There is not a lot of humanity to define the characters in this movie (as was the case in the 2015 film). However, Taylor-Joy impressively acts Furiosa with enthusiasm and zest, and Miller keeps action constantly alive. However, the film grimly endorses vengeance and hate. Furiosa is victorious, but she wears the cost.

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