Furiosa - A Mad Max Saga: Epic odyssey, but does it live up to Fury Road?

Furiosa Mad Max saga

The film’s pacing and tone are more reflective than Fury Road. While Fury Road was described as a chaotic relentless chase, this movie takes its time to build the world and the characters.

Photo credit: Pool

Back in 2015, almost 10 years ago (time really does fly) I remember watching Mad Max: Fury Road and thinking to myself, how is this even possible? The action set pieces and mayhem, stunts, costumes, and set design undoubtedly made it the best movie of the previous decade.

While the film largely followed Max, played by Tom Hardy, another character stole the show,a character perfectly played by Charlize Theron, Imperator Furiosa.

And with that Hollywood had to do what Hollywood does best, create a spin off or in this case, a prequel centering on that character.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a 2024 Australian post-apocalyptic action-adventure film directed, co-written, and co-produced by the creative mastermind George Miller. Nico Lathouris co-wrote the screenplay.

As the fifth installment in the Mad Max franchise, the film serves as both a prequel and spin-off to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), focusing on the character Imperator Furiosa. Anya Taylor-Joy and Alyla Browne portray younger versions of Furiosa, with Chris Hemsworth playing the primary villain Dementus.

Synopsis

As the world collapses, young Furiosa is taken from the Green Place of Many Mothers by the Warlord Dementus and his great Biker Horde. Traveling through the Wasteland, they encounter the Citadel, ruled by The Immortan Joe. As the two tyrants battle for supremacy, Furiosa faces numerous trials, striving to find her way back home. Essentially, the film is an odyssey of a person trying to return home.

Let's talk about it.

Something that most people might know is that George Miller had the concept of the film before Fury Road, using it to give Charlize Theron a comprehensive history of Furiosa. So now, this prequel explores Furiosa's origins and the intricacies of the Citadel, providing a darker, more detailed narrative.

This exploration of Furiosa adds layers to her character, making her more sympathetic and relatable. The audience gets to see a more vulnerable side of Furiosa, which complements the fierce warrior we saw in Fury Road.

The performances stand out in this film, particularly those of Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth. Taylor-Joy brings a youthful yet fierce energy to the role of Furiosa, channeling Charlize Theron's essence while making the character her own.

Hemsworth, known for his versatility, delivers a powerful portrayal of a sadistic psychopath, Dementus, adding depth and unexpected humour to the character. His scenes, particularly those with Immortan Joe, are gripping and showcase his ability to balance menace with a twisted charm.

The film’s pacing and tone are more reflective than Fury Road. While Fury Road was described as a chaotic relentless chase, this movie takes its time to build the world and the characters. It punctuates the action with dramatic and emotional moments that enrich the world-building, making the wasteland feel more alive, dangerous and immersive.

The exploration of the Citadel, Bullet Farm, and Gas Town provides a deeper understanding of the societal and political structures and the harsh realities of life in these post-apocalyptic wastelands.

The attention to detail in the sets and the practical effects create an immersive experience that draws the audience into the harsh realities of the wasteland.

The film's score, composed by Tom Holkenborg, adds to this atmosphere, with a more textural and simmering quality that underscores the tension and drama.

The action scenes, though less frequent than in Fury Road, are still spectacular and beautifully choreographed. They are infused with dramatic tension, making them more impactful. The film's editing is as sharp as ever, maintaining a sense of urgency and intensity even in the quieter moments. The choreography of the action sequences, combined with the stunning cinematography, makes for a visually captivating experience.

The movie also benefits from its strong supporting cast. Characters from Fury Road make appearances, and new characters are introduced, adding depth and complexity to this story and also Mad Max Fury Road. These characters are well-developed, each with their own motivations and backstories, which are explored in the film.

Nitpicks

For those going into this expecting non-stop mayhem and chaos, you might struggle with this movie during the first hour. This has more story and focus on giving the audience context rather than just one big chaotic chas. The second half with the introduction of important Joe is where we go back to the madness of Fury Road.

Summary

At the beginning of the year I had this as one of my most anticipated movie of the year and as much as I had my doubts before (this being a spin-off prequel), George Miller just gave us another classic.

Watch this in the biggest screen possible.

If you loved Mad Max: Fury Road, this is a perfect companion. In fact, the two movies can be perfectly viewed as one. If you are not familiar with the Mad Max movies, this film will blow your mind.

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