“Furiosa: Mad Max. Saga / Furiosa: A Mad Max SagaMovie Explained: What’s Up With the Ending?

On May 23, cinemas began rolling out the post-apocalyptic action film Furiosa: Mad Max. Saga”. This is a spinoff prequel to one of the greatest action blockbusters of at least the 21st century, “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015), and overall the fifth film in George Miller’s gritty anarchic franchise. In this review, we tell you what the Australian director offers this time and how Anya Taylor-Joy, who replaced Charlize Theron, feels in the title role.

Pros:

extremely exciting action scenes and a sufficient number of them; Anya Taylor-Joy did a great job following the goddess Charlize Theron; overall a good addition to the series mythology;

Minuses:

noticeably uneven pace of the narrative and, accordingly, annoying sagging; Chris Hemsworth’s degenerate antagonist may not be everyone’s cup of tea; certain plot conventions;

“Furiosa: Mad Max. Saga / Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Genre post-apocalyptic action
Directed by George Miller
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Lachy Hulme, Nathan Jones, Angus Sampson, Charlie Fraser, John Howard
Premiere cinemas
Year of manufacture 2024
IMDb website

Post-apocalyptic Australia is once again in turmoil. Among the barren wasteland scorched by the sun, the paradise oasis Themiscyra is located in a special place where the young girl Furiosa lives. But one day, dirty bikers kidnap her and take her to their muscular leader Dementus, who learns about the Green Lands and tries to extort the way to them from the small one. The girl’s mother, who tried to return the unfortunate child, also falls under the villain’s disfavor.

The turning point in this tragic story is the discovery by Dementus and his gang of the Citadel, a city already familiar to viewers, where another dictator, Immortan Joe, is firmly entrenched. Therefore, while the two villains sort things out between themselves, the main character will not only have time to grow up, but also acquire a mentor in order to, on occasion, carry out such a desired act of retribution against the one who destroyed her life. It’s not exactly a trend, but 2024 has become a fertile time for stories set in harsh post-apocalyptic wastelands. The passions for “Fallout” have just died down when the next story is rushing to the screens in the setting of a devastated world sunk in complete anarchy. We recently devoted an entire article to this interesting topic.

Nine years ago, George Miller gave the world one of the best examples of pure action cinema, not clouded by unnecessary semantic maxims or dialogues. But at the same time, the Australian director and his team set such a high bar that it seemed impossible to surpass it. And this is true: “Furiosa” noticeably loses compared to its outstanding predecessor, at least in the pace of the narrative and the level of tension of individual scenes.

However, if you don’t rely too much on Fury Road before watching it, but perceive the film more as a blank slate, this will be beneficial. “Furiosa” is actually a good action movie, quite in the spirit of Miller’s franchise. It looks much better than the typical sterile blockbusters and is an excellent alternative to the soulless comic book movies of recent years.

As for the action, Miller is still doing everything right. Every scene on the screen is full of impressions, and every chase literally takes your breath away. Yes, you won’t find the effect of novelty during the day with fire, but it still looks damn exciting. And for Anya Taylor-Joy’s penetrating gaze, which the director beautifully highlights with the help of the play of light and shadow in one of the scenes, this film can be forgiven a lot.

But, and this again distinguishes Furiosa from Fury Road, the plot does not offer continuous action and is wasted on long stops, which involves sagging and negatively affects the pace of the story.

This happens for two reasons. The first is that Miller is simply obliged to make forced pauses and explain some things, because in prequels, that is, backstories, this is usually what they do. The second, and it follows from the first, is that in Furios the chases become only a recognizable attribute of the story, while the entire Fury Road was a chase through and through, within which a minimalist story unfolded.

It’s not worth omitting the fact of some plot conventions: who really seems immortal here is the main character, and her disguise as a young man is generally somehow ridiculous.

Anya Taylor-Joy worthily takes over the baton from Charlize Theron. Her tough warrior is laconic, like Schwarzenegger in “Terminator,” and walks around with a severed arm, again, like Schwarzenegger in “Terminator 2.” But the actress appears on the screen only after the first hour of the running time, and before that young Alila Brown takes the rap for her, who, with the help of artificial intelligence, at each stage of growing up, receives more and more facial features from her older colleague.

Chris Hemsworth stands out clearly among others with a false nose, whose Dementus resembles Thor on hard drugs, as if after Thanos’ snap the guy completely melted (in his wardrobe there was even a place for the semblance of a superhero red cape). In addition to Hemsworth’s persistent desire to drag his wife Elsa Pataky into cameo roles in almost every film (here the Spanish beauty has two of them), and vice versa, an attentive viewer will notice a really worthwhile cameo. Also from Fury Road, the tireless inseminator Immortan Joe (played by Lachey Hulme, replacing the deceased Hugh Keays-Byrne), the thug Rictus Erectus and several other minor characters migrated here.

Furiosa: Mad Max. Saga” is a good movie, which, however, no longer produces such a strong effect as the previous part of the cult franchise. So Fury Road is still George Miller’s elusive opus magnum. But you will definitely need seat belts while watching, and at these maximum speeds the tape looks amazing.

Conclusion:

Apparently, George Miller had no plans to release Fury Road ver. 2.0, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But his new movie is not able to evoke such stunning delight.

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