Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga


Reviewed by: Richard Mowe

Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa in  Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
"You cannot help but get swept up in it all." | Photo: Warner Bros

It has to be said that nobody does it better in terms of helter-skelter high octane action than director George Miller who gave us the first in the Mad Max franchise some 45 years ago.

There’s something refreshing about someone who knows his universe and just gets on with, creating new legends and character back stories in the process.

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It all has some topical bearing but don’t let that stop you from fastening your seat belts for the ride across unforgiving desert landscapes and craggy canyons as those humans left to fend for themselves in a world of climate change and pandemics.

Survival of the fittest is the key with a few warlords overseeing the arid landscapes. This time around pride of place is given to the young Furiosa (played with gutsy aplomb by Anya Taylor-Joy taking over from Charlize Theron from Mad Max: Fury Road, and in an even younger incarnation by Ally Browne.

The youngster is taken by a menacing motorcycle gang and confronted by their leader, Dementus (Chris Helmsworth) who sweetly has a teddy bear by his side. The attempt by Furiosa’s mother to rescue her and the interaction with Dementus’s unsavoury gang occupies much of the earlier part of the film.

Miller has chosen to divide the action up into chapters eventually finding Furiosa being traded for the control of Gas World - and then she finds herself stowed away on the War Rig, giving rise to an edge of the seat chase as the driver played with a certain charm by Tom Burke tries to steer himself out of trouble.

Inevitably there is only so much of breath-taking thrills and spills that a spectator can take and it’s in the quieter scenes when Taylor-Joy has more time to explore her character and use her physicality to excellent effect.

Miller is a master craftsman with his own mythology in which he delights in confounding expectations. You cannot help but get swept up in it all - and admire his infectious sense of delight in the possibilities of pure cinema even if at times the pace waivers and seems over-inflated. Let’s not quibble: screens all over the world need this sort of spectacle now more and ever. Long may it continue.

Reviewed on: 16 May 2024
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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga packshot
Prequel about the young Furiosa, who is snatched by a biker gang.
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Read more Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga reviews:

Andrew Robertson ****

Director: George Miller

Writer: George Miller, Nick Lathouris

Starring: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Charlee Fraser, Tom Burke, Nathan Jones, Angus Sampson, Lachy Hulme, Alyla Browne, Daniel Webber, Nat Buchanan, Goran D. Kleut, Spencer Connelly, David Collins, Ian Roberts, Matuse

Year: 2024

Runtime: 178 minutes

Country: Australia


Cannes 2024

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