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“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” – Action, Storytelling, and Stunning Visuals

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By Chris “Boogie” Brown

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is the direct prequel to the 2015 action classic, “Mad Max: Fury Road.” This is the fifth film in the Mad Max franchise, and like the previous entries, it is directed by the legendary George Miller.

As you can surmise from the film’s trailers and synopsis, this prequel sets up the origin story of protagonist Furiosa, the fierce warrior featured in the aforementioned “Fury Road.” Covering 15 years of her life, Furiosa examines where she came from, her upbringing, how she arrived at the Citadel, and what drives her to the enraged state of redemption that we witness in this film and in “Fury Road.”

I thought “Furiosa” was an incredible prequel that further fleshed out the “Mad Max” universe that director George Miller has constructed. While “Fury Road” was ultimately a kinetic chase film that moved at a frantic pace, “Furiosa” is more nuanced, taking its time to tell a sprawling story that spans several years and five chapters. As the film takes viewers on a deep dive into this dystopian wasteland, we not only see the origins of Furiosa but are also introduced to familiar characters, locations, and story arcs established in 2015’s “Fury Road.”

Although “Furiosa” doesn’t have the same pacing and cadence as “Fury Road,” it never loses the spirit of that film, as we are provided with several high-octane action sequences throughout. The inventive action in “Furiosa” combines practical stunt work and visual effects, includes extended one-take shots, and is completely immersed in thrills and suspense. While “Furiosa” doesn’t contain the sustained amount of action as its 2015 predecessor, the vehicular action, spectacular stunts, and riveting camerawork on display are outstanding. One extended set piece in particular during the film’s second act is simply amazing and rivals what came before it in “Fury Road.”

In terms of performances, standouts include Alyla Browne and Anya Taylor-Joy, who both excel in their portrayals of the lead character, “Furiosa.” While the former plays Furiosa during the younger years of her backstory, the latter plays the adult version and absolutely captures the spirit and fierceness of Charlize Theron’s portrayal in “Fury Road.” Although Anya’s “Furiosa” doesn’t have a lot of dialogue in the film, she effectively emotes through her eyes, body language, and action prowess throughout. Additionally, Tom Burke does a great job as Praetorian Jack, a grizzled commander of a Citadel war rig.

However, of all the performances, the show-stealer in “Furiosa” may very well be Chris Hemsworth’s Dementus. As the main villain of the film, Hemsworth gives a charismatic performance incorporating shades of wit, strength, maniacal ruthlessness, and desperation, delivering several memorable monologues throughout. If I’m being honest, this may possibly be my favorite Chris Hemsworth role to date—he is simply that commanding and heightens every single scene he is a part of.

Not Just Sadistic Insanity": Chris Hemsworth's Furiosa Villain Detailed By  The Mad Max Star

When it comes to the film’s direction, George Miller is still a master of his craft and shows no signs of slowing down. Miller orchestrates this sprawling epic with nuance, visual storytelling, and pulls out spirited performances from his talented cast. In addition, the film looks stunning thanks to the excellent cinematography by Simon Duggan, who gives the film a saturated and stylized look that is both aesthetically vibrant and appealing. Lastly, the production design, costume design, technical merits, and memorable score by composer Junkie XL are all incredible and left me very impressed.

Overall, I found this film to be an exhilarating cinematic experience that certainly deserves to be seen in a premium theatrical format. In my opinion, “Furiosa” is right on par with “Fury Road” in terms of quality and entertainment. While “Fury Road” contained more entertaining action spread across its entire runtime, I personally found the detailed storytelling, world-building, character work, Easter eggs, and clever callbacks in “Furiosa” to be equally impressive and a pleasant surprise.

“Furiosa” is one of the best prequels I’ve ever seen. It not only complements “Fury Road” perfectly but will also change the way you watch “Fury Road” going forward. The proverbial handoff from film to film is seamless and will leave die-hard fans of “Fury Road” grinning from ear to ear. Should George Miller choose to give us a sixth chapter of this legendary 45-year-old franchise, I am completely here for it!

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Story” is currently playing in theatres everywhere and is one of the very best films I’ve seen so far in 2024. This one comes HIGHLY recommended—enjoy!

Chuck Creekmur (@ChuckCreekmur)

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