Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga – Film Review

Furiosa A Mad Max Saga – Film Review (3)

Director: George Miller
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke
Certificate: 15

By Roger Crow

Hard to believe nine years have gone by since George Miller gave us Mad Max: Fury Road, that Oscar-winning action spectacular which saw the eponymous hero as pretty much a co-star in his own movie. As terrific as Tom Hardy was as Max, the movie belonged to Charlize Theron as the one-armed truck-driving heroine Furiosa, who rebelled against the despotic Immortan Joe, and attempted to drive his assorted brides to safety across a post-apocalyptic landscape.

Miller has never been a director to rush his Mad Max movies. After all, fans like me waited 30 years between the third film and the fourth, so little wonder under a decade seems so short a gap.

This is the prequel to Fury Road, so, as you’ll have gathered, it’s all about the eponymous heroine, from her early days in a lush oasis with her loved ones, to the time she is kidnapped by a band of thugs, and beyond.

Furiosa A Mad Max Saga – Film Review (1)

“Cinematic nirvana”

When she is eventually captured, Furiosa has to watch as a loved one is killed, and you can almost see a part of her die at that moment. It’s basically the same idea as the original Mad Max, only on a grander scale, and gender flipped. Revenge stories are rocket fuel for any story, as it’s not usually the thrill of the chase that’s important but how the wronged seek their own brand of justice that matters. But in this case, the thrill of the chase is everything.

That central set piece in which Furiosa and driver Praetorean Jack (Tom Burke) go from A to B in a shiny big rig is the stuff of cinematic nirvana. He’s basically the stand-in for Max, and a great job Tom Burke does, all charisma and moody menace. His relationship with Furiosa is about the closest the saga has come to a romance since 1979’s original movie.

And then there’s Chris Hemsworth as a bad guy with a fake nose. It’s quite the performance. Theatrical, eccentric, rage-driven, and utterly compelling, even when he’s doing the unthinkable.

But, as ever, the real stars of the show are those vehicles. It’s like an episode of Top Gear interpreted by an AI programme that didn’t understand what reality was, and went insane in the process.

Furiosa A Mad Max Saga – Film Review (2)

“Beautifully staged”

There are some nightmare images here, and the visuals will live long in the memory. Though the final few minutes involving our heroine, a car and the bad guy are beautifully staged, the pay-off is as weird and disturbing as Hugh Jackman/Darren Aaronofsky’s visionary flop The Fountain from a few years ago.

So though not as satisfying as Fury Road, it is a terrific prequel that fills in a few blanks, like how Furiosa got her prosthetic arm.

Epic, bizarre, stunning, weird and unforgettable. A big screen viewing is essential.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in cinemas now

Leave a reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.