Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Verdict: A visually and technically outstanding film that needed some work on its story and pacing

Anya Taylor-Joy takes over the role of Imperator Furiosa from Charlize Theron in this prequel.

George Miller wrote the script for Furiosa as a backstory for Charlize Theron’s character in Mad Max: Fury Road and he’s finally brought that prequel to life with Anya Taylor-Joy in the title role.

The prequel, set 15 years before the events of Fury Road, follows Furiosa after she is abducted from her abundant home, the Green Place of Many Mothers, by a biker gang led by evil warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) and forced to roam the barbaric wasteland before eventually aligning herself with his rival Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme).

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is an impressive visual and technical achievement. The cinematography is stunning and the high-octane stunts are unbelievably cool. Even though we’ve seen versions of them before in Fury Road, they’re still the standout sequences.

Furiosa’s first outing on a War Rig is particularly memorable; it’s an extended chase with lots of War Boys, violent moments and exciting action.

The downside is the story and the pacing. The film is divided into five chapters and two of these star young Furiosa (Alyla Browne). She is good (and looks very similar to Taylor-Joy) but she is an innocent observer to Dementus and the film isn’t really focused on her. It takes too long for Furiosa to become about its title character.

The narrative improves once Taylor-Joy takes over. At this point, Furiosa is now a hardened engineer working for Immortan Joe when women are typically made to be his wives. She hides away on a War Rig and learns how to become a badass driver with Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke).

Taylor-Joy is a worthy successor to Theron – she has the same grit, determination and pent-up anger bubbling underneath the surface. She has been abused and oppressed and cannot take anymore.

Meanwhile, Hemsworth is an interesting choice for Dementus. While it’s refreshing to see him playing someone evil and ugly (he wears a prosthetic nose and fake teeth), he never totally disappears into the character, perhaps because his performance was so big.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga doesn’t quite match up to its predecessor – the standards are pretty high after all! – but it is still a technically outstanding film that should satisfy all existing Mad Max fans.

In cinemas from Friday 24th May.

© Cover Media