FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA – A Review by Jenn Rohm

FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA – A Review by Jenn Rohm

Mad Max: Fury Road was my introduction to the post-apocalyptic world of Wasteland.  I knew about the three prior films and some references to the storyline, but I had not watched them.  I eventually saw the first film, Mad Max, on a rainy afternoon during the pandemic.  With the world sheltered in place and no contact, it created an additional impact on my viewing that was not felt in 1979 when it was released.

I had heard this prequel existed, and Charlize Theron had read what was available to assist her in bringing Imperator Furiosa to life.  I liked what was done with Fury Road, yet I wasn’t sure what the prequel would be.  I am well beyond pleasantly surprised with Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.  George Miller created a universe and, with each film, has added more layers to flesh it out.  He continues to fill the cast and crew with people who take his vision to the next level.  I would love to give everyone who participated in this project an individualized shout-out.  As I do not have the space to do that here.  Here is a link to IMDB full Cast & Crew list.  Take a moment to look through the list to get a glimpse of what went on behind the scenes and what was created that can be seen.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is the story of her becoming the warrior we know.  It is told in five chapters, beginning with her being kidnapped as a child and continuing through to her appearance in Fury Road.  While this film is part of a larger saga and ties into the previous films, it has been crafted so that one can fully enjoy it without having seen the earlier films.  In fact, I’m willing to bet that after experiencing this film, you’ll delve into the entire Mad Max series, whether it’s for the first time or as a rewatch. 

I found this film more story-based than action-driven, giving me a better understanding of the Wasteland.  Do not get me wrong; this film has lots of action, and it is worth the extra to see in an IMAX theater.  There is a reason the film is 2 hours and 28 minutes long.

For the film’s first hour, Alyla Browne plays the younger Furiosa.  Then, Anya Taylor-Joy takes over the part for the remainder of the piece. Both actors consistently convey thoughts and emotions through more than just lines.  In some cases, simple movements are used to give context to where Furiosa is mentally and emotionally.  Taylor-Joy has an almost chameleon-like ability to take on a character so fully without any carryover of any previous roles.  In this piece, she embraces what Theron brought to the role and sets the foundation and frame.

Lachy Hulme does a good job taking over the role of Immortan Joe following Hugh Keats-Byrne’s death in 2020.  John Howard returns to his role as The People Eater and continues to make my skin crawl with his characteristic mannerisms.  Charlee Fraser is Mary Jabassa and she shows strength in a way not often shown by women in film.   

The only bit that I am not fully on board with is Dementus.  I am not putting this on Chis Hemsworth, who plays the role.  He is talented and has been picking projects that have allowed him to show his versatility.  He has delivered what was asked of him, and a lot was asked.  Add in the talented work by costuming and hair and make-up; it does not look like him.  My issue is a lack of consistency with the character that didn’t sit right for me.  (I really want to be spoiler-free, so it is difficult to be specific.)  Using broad strokes, there are moments where the character appears to be mentally lacking and others where he spouts propaganda that supports higher (even if misguided) thinking.  Is he not all together there?  A brilliant leader with charisma that makes others want to follow him?  Or does he have multiple personalities, and something was left on the cutting room floor that would have cleared that up?

I am now planning out a binge fest to watch all the films of the saga.  Hopefully, we will not have to wait almost 10 years for the next film.

 

Director: George Miller

Written By: George Miller, Nick Lathouris

Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke

MPAA Rating: Rated R for sequences of strong violence and grisly images.

Genres: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi, Thriller

Selig Rating: 4.5 stars

Runtime: 2h 28m

Release Date: May 24, 2024

Trailer: Furiosa Trailer Link

Website: Furiosa Website

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie/show, well worth the time and price.

4 Stars – Good movie/show

3 Stars – OK movie/show

2 Stars – Well, there was nothing else…

1 Star – Total waste of time.

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