"Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" movie poster featuring a fierce central character surrounded by other post-apocalyptic figures in a desert setting, with the All Ages of Geek logo in the corner.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Review

Mad Max: Fury Road reintroduced audiences to the world of the Wasteland thanks to the creative mind of George Miller. The director returns to the franchise with an origin story of one of his memorable characters from Fury Road with his next installment, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Like his other Mad Max films, Miller goes for the simple narrative where actions speak louder than words while letting his rich world flourish with impressive visuals. Viewing the filmmaker’s latest offering showcases just how incredibly talented he is and still is to this day with a clear vision and incredible characters thanks in large part to the talents of Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth.

Furiosa follows the journey of the titular heroine and her humble beginnings, who was previously played by Charlize Theron in the previous film with Anya taking over the role as a younger version of the character. After being taken away from her home by scavenger bikers, Furiosa is taken under the wing of Hemworth’s warlord villain Dementus. After refusing to reveal the whereabouts of this green oasis she hails from, the leader of the Bike Horde uses Furiosa to gain favor from Citadel leader Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) to take over one of his properties known as Gas Town. The young woman escapes the life of a sister-wife and uses her own survival instincts to go up the ranks to become a road warrior after training with the Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke). As the Wasteland crumbles all around her, Furiosa attempts to make her journey home while on the path of revenge against Dementus and his army.

The film is framed like a dystopian epic separated into different chapters. Furiosa details the journey of the main character’s adventure through the apocalyptic desert as she builds up into the Imperator audiences are familiar with from Fury Road. There’s also a lot of world-building as the movie expands on the Mad Max franchise with the politics and power struggles among various groups in the Wasteland while exploring different areas not seen in the films. Each place has its own environment despite being in the vast desert, but the movie does an incredible job exploring this landscape through the eyes of Furiosa as audiences go on this journey alongside her. The latest installment explores where she comes from and how she has kept it a secret from those like Dementus for so long. It works seamlessly with the events of Fury Road as it gives more of the world that George Miller has created. 

Just like the previous film, Furiosa is visually stunning with its atmosphere filled with blood and violence. The colors shown on the screen are very saturated and it becomes almost fantasy-like with the crazy zoomed-in shots and colors that fill the imagination. Sometimes it can be a bit disorienting at times with the crazy angles and the same tone staying into almost the entire runtime. The extreme close-ups of Furiosa and Dementus in the action scenes, showcase some of the grueling deaths that happen on screen. It truly shows just how much Miller still has a flair for visuals at such an advanced age but feels very fresh.

The film has a big run time of two hours and a half, but it uses all that time to help get audiences to know Furiosa as the main character. Anya gives a powerhouse performance as a young Furiosa, who still has yet to experience what the world has to offer as she has revenge on her mind. Much of her screen presence relies on her facial expressions as she doesn’t have much dialogue to use. However, she does do an incredible job of expressing love, grief, and anger through her emotions without uttering a word. There’s also a lot of physicality that goes into a role like this, but Anya manages to carry herself through it much like her predecessor Charlize. 

Every journey of a heroine isn’t complete without its villain, which is where Hemsworth comes in with his maniacal turn as Dementus. The actor eats up the screen with his most challenging role so far and it pays off. He is very entertaining to watch on screen, coming off as a demented and unfiltered baddie. It does leave some room for off-beat humor with Hemsworth’s crazy villain who is nothing like Immortan Joe. It is unlike anything the Australian actor has done before and he’s clearly having a grand time taking on the role. His army is full of some wild characters, but Hemsworth is able to go on the same level as Anya through his many scenes with her. The Thor actor manages to embody Dementus as a formidable opponent against Furiosa on her path of vengeance.

The action setpieces and cinematic shots in Furiosa are just as breathtaking as the previous film. It’s the crazy physics that goes into these stunts that just make anyone’s jaw drop with awe. The shots of the Australian desert and the action sequences give that signature style that Miller is known for in the franchise. Despite its visually appealing cinematography, some of the VFX comes off as noticeable in a couple of shots. While Fury Road does a great job of blending practical effects with CGI, Furiosa has a few scenes that make some use of CGI that become easy to spot with the naked eye. One such scene involving some animals is clearly added on screen with VFX. It often feels too smooth and slick, much to the film’s betterment. However, it’s only a small flaw among several complex stunts that seem impossible to pull off but marvelous to witness on film.

Furiosa isn’t like Fury Road at all, which is a good thing coming from Miller’s version of a dystopian future. As innovative and creative by the filmmaker, the movie builds on the storytelling of the Mad Max series with the journey of a nearly silent female protagonist on a revenge spree through the vast Wasteland. There’s something special that Miller has made with this prequel that connects well with his other films by telling an epic story that delivers what it’s supposed to do with the audience and adds so much more. With incredible performances by Anya and Chris, Furiosa redefines the summer blockbuster action film.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga will be released in theaters on May 24, 2024.

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