Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – Movie Review

Not only do I consider George Miller’s Mad Max: Fury Road the best film in the franchise. I also think it’s one of the greatest sci-fi action films ever made. While the whole idea of prequels rarely excites me, I will admit that when Miller announced his return to the wastelands with Furiosa, I couldn’t help but get amped up.  While Furiosa does feel like a true Mad Max film (without Max), it is not nearly as thrilling.

One thing that sets Furiosa apart from Fury Road is the timeline of the narrative. While the previous film told a much smaller story, Furiosa is set over a-number-of-years.  It makes perfect sense too. If Miller wanted to tell the full story of the title character, we really did need to see where she came from. The young Furiosa (Alyla Browne) was abducted from her home of abundance, where she lived a lovely and healthy life. Her mother chased down the bikers that took her and attempted to rescue Furiosa. Unfortunately, the biker warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) and his gang caught Furiosa’s mother and slaughtered her while the young girl was forced to watch.

After a failed attempt to take-over the Citadel, Dementus rebuilds his gang, with plans to take over Gastown. That is where all the fuel is produced. After succeeding with the takeover, Dementus meets with the Citadel leader, Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), where he barters his doctor and young Furiosa in exchange for ruling Gastown. Joe wants Furiosa to grow and become a breeder since she is not a wasteland mutant. It doesn’t take long for Furiosa to escape the from where Joe keeps his other wives. Time passes and we see that Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) has disguised herself as a mute war boy and working on the war rig. Her plan is to escape on the next trip to Gastown, but when Dementus’ horde attack the rig, she has no choice but to defend it. That is when the rig’s driver, Pretorian Jack (Tom Burke), learns that the mute war boy is actually a woman.

Jack takes Furiosa under his wing, and she is the first member of his new crew, since Dementus killed all the rest. To be perfectly honest, there is no need to go into the rest of the plot, since its more-or-less wash-rinse-repeat. We go from one fortress to another.  It doesn’t matter if its Gastown or the Bullet Farm, where they produce…you guessed it…Bullets. Bullets and Gas are really the only two commodities in the wasteland. However, I would like to know who produced the silver spray paint the war boys spray into their mouths.

One of the biggest issues with the Furiosa is that we spend too much time in her childhood. The movie is nearly 150 minutes long and the pacing isn’t as swift as Fury Road. While there is more action here than most action films, it isn’t as memorable either. The major war rig fight is pretty awesome. However, two key things are lacking here. First is that the score isn’t as iconic as Fury Road and there seems to be much more noticeable CGI this time. While there was CGI in Fury Road, it felt like it was in service of the action and here many scenes feel much more artificial.

Joy is great in the role and she does a great job stepping into the shoes of Charlize Theron. I totally bought into her really being the younger version of the character. We all know that Hemsworth is a gifted entertainer. He can play serious and he can play funny. Here he truly hams it up as a vile and sinister character and he chews up every scene.  While I can’t say I was a big fan of Furiosa, there is still quite a lot I admire about it and even at the age of 79, he is still one of the most visionary action directors of our time.

By: Marc Ferman