Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Review | No Fury in this Road

Mad Max: Fury Road is one of the best films of the last decade, and belongs on many top 100 film lists. The prequel, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, tells the story of what happened to Imperator Furiosa leading up to the events of Fury Road. While the two films certainly share some DNA, there are very distinct differences that set them apart.

While Furiosa has the Mad Max Saga subtitle, and plays in that world, it feels detached in many ways. For fans of Fury Road, there are some familiar faces and locations in Furiosa, but it very much feels like the side story that it is, or even an afterthought in some cases. In fact, the movie doesn’t even feel like it belongs to Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy). Instead, the movie probably should’ve been dubbed, Dementus: A Mad Max Saga.

As the main antagonist in the film, Dementus (Chris Hemsworth) is the only character with any kind of emotional arc. There are a few glorified cameos from the Fury Road mainstays of Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) and his family, but for the most part, Dementus, Furiosa, and Praetorian Jack are the only characters with any kind of depth, and Furiosa and Jack don’t have many lines throughout the two and a half hour runtime.

Young Furiosa (Alyla Browne) is full of emotion, and lights up her scenes. However, the older Furiosa shows no such emotion, a considerable departure from Charlize Theron’s portrayal of the character in Fury Road. Even the anger that’s supposed to be flowing through her due to the events of her childhood isn’t captured well in the film. There are subtle reminders that she still holds a grudge, but nothing that properly builds to a fulfilling revenge like the movie would have you believe.

Anya Taylor Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Furiosa, george miller, Mad Max, Mad Max Fury Road

There are a handful of action sequences in the film, but all of them pale in comparison to the nonstop adrenaline rush that is Fury Road. Comparing the two just makes Furiosa seem like a weak imitation. It’s just similar enough to be part of the family, but never comes close to the heights of Fury Road.

While George Miller plays around with the saturation and rapid camera movements that were so well done in Fury Road, much of that unique style and visual splendor are lost in Furiosa. This leaves drab desert landscapes, mixed with urban fortresses that all feel similar, with nothing visually pleasing to any of it. The trailers for Furiosa were more visually stunning than anything in the film.

There was a fair amount of convenience in Fury Road, which allowed Max (Tom Hardy) to escape captivity and assist Furiosa (Charlize Theron) on her journey. Far more convenience exists in Furiosa, and for astute viewers, it may be a considerable distraction as they question how easy some things come to Furiosa and her allies.

In a vacuum, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is an entertaining action film that doesn’t need to be watched more than once. However, when compared to Mad Max: Fury Road, Furiosa is more of a disappointment than anything else. It’s not a bad film, but given the large number of similarities and direct connection between the two films, Fury Road raised the bar so high that Furiosa simply doesn’t compare.

About Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Synopsis: The origin story of renegade warrior Furiosa before her encounter and teamup with Mad Max.

Director: George Miller

Writers: George Miller, Nick Lathouris

Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke

Rated: R

Runtime: 2 Hours, 28 Minutes

Bryan Dawson has been writing professionally since the age of 13. He started his career as a video game writer and has since worked for Random House, Prima Games, DirecTV, IGN, AOL, the British Government, and various other organizations. For GNN, Bryan taps into his passion for movies.

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