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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

  • Film
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Recommended
Reseña de Furiosa: De la saga de Mad Max
Foto: Cortesía Warner

Time Out says

4 out of 5 stars

George Miller delivers the full-throttle, no-prisoners-taken prequel we’ve all been waiting for

It’s been nearly ten years since Charlize Theron grabbed this much-loved, testosterone-fuelled franchise by its boots and made it all her own. The spectacular multi-Oscar-winner Mad Max: Fury Road may have boasted a star turn from Tom Hardy, but it was Theron who resonated the loudest – and longest.

Fast forward and Furiosa’s backstory is finally here: a richly layered journey from an Eden-like oasis to the vast, sweeping deserts of relentless conflict, as warring gangs fight over precious resources and territory dominance, with seemingly no shortage of firepower and super bikes at their disposal.

Fittingly, this monumental spectacle of cinema – a near non-stop cycle of batshit stunts, slathered with enough grease, oil, fire and sand to leave you gasping for air – has dominated this year’s Cannes Film Festival, just as its predecessor did back in 2015. It has also elevated its star, Anya Taylor-Joy – whose visceral intensity requires precious little dialogue – firmly into the blockbuster league alongside her spirited co-star Chris Hemsworth, restored here to some semblance of Aussie-ness from his regular Marvel duties.

Hemsworth, looking more like Jesus than Thor here, channels a droll blend of Tom Hardy and his own fellow Australian Paul Hogan in his never-dull depiction of Dementus – Furiosa’s sworn enemy and the object of her long-fought-for revenge.

A near non-stop cycle of batshit stunts that will leave you gasping for air 
It’s majorly refreshing to have a film of this scale awash with Aussie accents. Aside from British thesp Tom Burke’s affected tones as Furiosa’s love interest Praetorian Jack, they are authentic, with a supporting cast of highly watchable Aussie actors. It’s a neat way for Miller to nod back to the first Mad Max, just as he does during one pivotal scene.

Those hoping that Furiosa might up the ante from its ground-breaking predecessor might be left feeling disappointed – but that would be doing the film a disservice. This latest instalment feels contemporary and timely, with themes of resource-based conflict and endangered species. Not only must the young Furiosa fiercely protect the location of her nature-led, wind-powered home, she must later free a group of women slaves, whose task it is to produce a pure human. The warring gangs of wild and brutal thugs she overcomes only emphasise how eerily lifelike this dystopian vision feels, given our current climate crisis. It is a relentlessly high-octane survival-of-the-fittest ride that, literally, takes no prisoners.

Furiosa’s own survival depends almost exclusively on her ability to confront trauma and torture and adapt before she can emerge the tough warrior who will let no-one get in her way. The transition from the young Furiosa (played beautifully by Alyla Browne) to the mature adult (Taylor-Joy) is seamless, and connects well with the version we’ve seen before, in the form of Theron.

There’s plenty more gas in the tank for a further instalment too. The only question is, who on Earth will play Furiosa next? It’s a fun riddle to try and solve.

Out worldwide May 24.

Written by
Ed Gibbs

Cast and crew

  • Director:George Miller
  • Screenwriter:George Miller, Nick Lathouris
  • Cast:
    • Chris Hemsworth
    • Anya Taylor-Joy
    • Tom Burke
    • Alyla Browne
    • Lachy Hulme
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