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Furiosa: A Mad Max Story Movie Review

An outstanding prequel that stands head and shoulders above most modern action films.

By Robert CainPublished 26 days ago 3 min read

Following a two-decade hiatus, the Mad Max franchise returned with a bang in 2015, putting many other action flicks to shame. Arriving nearly a decade after that film, the series is now looking backwards with Furiosa. The end result is another phenomenal ride.

Long before Fury Road, the young protagonist (played by Alyla Browne and Anya Taylor-respectively) is taken from her home by the forces of Dementus (Chris Hemsworth), the leader of a vicious biker horde tearing across the ruined world. For the next fifteen years, Furiosa slowly learns to survive, playing several factions off each other in pursuit of her ultimate revenge. The story unfolds over five chapters which take the audience to different ends of the wasteland and the battles that take place along the way. While its predecessor was a straightforward chase movie, this prequel goes deeper and wider. The world grows so seamlessly with all-out war between Immortan Joe and Dementus over resources. We’re introduced to GasTown, the last remaining oil well for miles and Bullet Farm, the main source of munitions. These environments play a major role in both the narrative and the ensuing action, allowing us to keep track of the opposing forces and where they stand. Even with its larger size, Furiosa remains at the centre of the story; as she grows more distant from her former home the protagonist becomes more violent and ruthless. This acts as a strong, steady bridge between films that doesn’t rely too heavily on previous releases.

The film also maintains the same restraint as Fury Road with a lower amount of dialogue throughout. This allows the audience to become fully immersed in the setting without needing extended explanations. Furiosa is a woman of few words, but we are shown so much through facial expressions. Both Alyla Browne and Anya Taylor-Joy do a brilliant job throughout, capturing the anguish of her initial capture and later the quiet determination. For the first time in many years, Chris Hemsworth has a great role to work with; Dementus is an over-the-top yet hypocritical warlord who manipulates others to do his bidding. Watching him trade words and battles with the returning Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) is great to watch, but his dynamic with Furiosa takes centre stage. Much like the story, the warlords are fleshed out as their fortunes in the wasteland change, resulting in greater desperation in the third act. Other side characters like Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke) and The History Man (George Shevstov) stand out in their own ways. Jack is Furiosa’s greatest teacher and The History Man adds further depth with narration and added commentary.

The yellow and orange glow of the desert is still an excellent backdrop with the rolling sand dunes and organised settlements being just as foreboding as they were before. Starting with the little details, transitions from day to night are handled seamlessly and the use of long shots gives off a much larger scale. Every action sequence is shot with impeccable accuracy; so many components are all working together beautifully. Imaginative vehicle designs that all have a great sense of speed, brutal violence that emphasises the war-torn setting and smooth camerawork and confident editing that must have been extremely difficult to get right. The same ambitious practicality from Fury Road has carried through to the prequel, delivering some of the best thrills you’ll see this year. The showdown between a war rig and flying vehicles and a desperate escape from Bullet Farm are the biggest highlights. They unleash some razor-sharp tension as Furiosa and her comrades try to come out on top. Without spoiling anything, the built-in weapons on the cars are truly mind-blowing in many places and the stunt work remains outstanding from everyone involved. Tom Holkenberg’s music feels more understated in some ways, mirroring the covert nature of the lead character. It feels chunky and powerful when things heat up.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Story is an outstanding action prequel, one that proves George Miller and his team are still at the top of their game. It serves up a weighty and powerful tale while upping the scale and detail of its world. Anyone who enjoyed Fury Road will love this entry and it also stands head and shoulders above most modern action films. Start your engines...

Rating: 5/5 Stars (Exceptional)

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About the Creator

Robert Cain

I'm a well-travelled blogger and writer from the UK who is looking to spread his blogs and freelance writings further afield. You can find more of my work at https://robc25.wixsite.com/thecainagecritique.

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    Robert CainWritten by Robert Cain

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