‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ movie review: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth bring Miller’s manic vision to life

Scene from ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’

Upon reflecting, it’s extraordinary to consider George Miller’s maiden voyage into the wastelands with 1979’s original Mad Max, featuring Mel Gibson. Fast forward 45 years, and Miller’s passion for his groundbreaking creation is still brimming energetically.

Miller rejuvenated the series in 2015 with Mad Max: Fury Road, which many hailed as the pinnacle of action cinema over the past ten years, not least because of Charlize Theron’s stellar portrayal of Furiosa. Presently, Miller enlightens us with the backstory of the fierce, one-armed protagonist through a movie that is an epic in its own right yet feels like an integral part of the saga; one can only hope for a future marathon of both Furiosa and Fury Road stitched into an epic six-hour narrative.

Although wildly distinct, both films share an intrinsic bond as we plunge back into the dusty chaos of Australia’s future dystopia to discover the history behind Furiosa’s haunting line about her mother’s demise. Where Fury Road encapsulated a fleeting moment in time, Furiosa stretches over 15 years and is segmented into five gripping chapters that offer moments of respite amidst the mayhem.

Furiosa’s journey starts with her childhood in the Green Place of Many Mothers, a rare haven in this forsaken world, portrayed poignantly by a then ten-year-old Alyla Browne. Abducted by the menacing Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) and his band of ruthless bikers, Furiosa is thrown into a life of survival. As years progress, she adapts and hones her abilities to endure the treacherous environment, eventually reaching the Citadel ruled by Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme). A striking scene marks the transition from Browne to Anya Taylor-Joy, as Furiosa emerges battle-ready and formidable.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (English)

Director: George Miller
Cast: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Alyla Browne, Charlee Fraser, Lachy Hulme, Goran D. Kleut
Run-time: 148 minutes
Storyline: Amidst the clashing of two tyrants, Dementus and Immortan Joe, a young Furiosa fights her way through nonstop peril to find her way back home

In the thick of a war between her rival captors, Furiosa encounters Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke), commander of the war rig. Their shared empathy blossoms into a tentative kinship, paving the way for an emotional core within the explosive tumult that is sadly ephemeral. From this point, the film propels Furiosa toward her climactic battle with Dementus, thus planting the seed for Fury Road.

Dialogue takes a backseat, yet Anya Taylor-Joy’s commanding on-screen presence speaks volumes, her searing gaze cutting through the desert dust, eloquently expressing Furiosa’s inner turmoil. While her performance might hinge on those powerful stares, Taylor-Joy proves equally adept at the demanding physicality of her role.

A snapshot from ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’

A snapshot from ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’

Despite her impressive performance, Anya Taylor-Joy is outperformed by Hemsworth’s remarkable portrayal of Dementus. Exhibiting undeniable charm and comedic genius, Hemsworth brings an unexpected depth to his role, reminiscent of his underappreciated performance in Bad Times at the El Royale. With a striking prosthetic nose and a peculiar accent, Hemsworth’s riveting villain easily cements himself as an iconic antagonist.

Miller’s casting expertise shines throughout, from Burke’s nuanced Praetorian Jack to Browne’s younger Furiosa, as well as a vibrant ensemble of characters populating the wild landscape. Not to be overshadowed are the intense action sequences, gravity-defying stunts, and spellbinding visual effects. The frantic three-day dash across the desert stands out as an extraordinary feat in cinema.

In pursuit of the ultimate action movie of the last decade, Miller crafts an extraordinary response that is both awe-inspiring and heartfelt.

To witness it yourself, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is currently thrilling audiences in theaters.

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