'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga' Movie Review: A Tamer Trip Into The Wasteland

 Chris Hemsworth in Furiosa: Mad Max movie

FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA is much more tame than FURY ROAD, but typical of George Miller’s wasteland adventure with Chris Hemsworth stealing every scene.

Charlize Theron’s Furiosa broke through as a fan favorite in MAD MAX: FURY ROAD (2015). MAD MAX creator George Miller naturally went the origin story route but with a new actress playing a younger character version.

Initially, it’s comical and distracting to see Chris Hemsworth’s Dementus with a prosthetic nose as the movie's villain but it soon blends in with his over-the-top antics. The actor portrays Dementus as a mustache-twirling villain and adds the right amount of comedy to make him the scene-stealing favorite. Miller’s MAD MAX villains are typically over the top so Hemsworth did it justice.

Anya Taylor-Joy is badass in the action scenes, but her character is somewhat bland and one-note. Furiosa’s dialogue is limited so Miller focuses on Taylor-Joy’s piercing eyes for perspective. That’s more typical of Mel Gibson‘s Mad Max, rather than the Theron character in FURY ROAD.

The other problem with that is that the actress’ glaring eyes don’t convey a range of emotions. As the young generation references it, she’s “mad dogging” it the whole time. This character doesn’t share any similarities with Charlize Theron’s version and makes you wonder why Miller didn’t consider recasting Theron in the role. Especially given that the finale to FURIOSA leads directly into the events of FURY ROAD, hence Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa is not a much younger version.

Alyla Browne’s young Furiosa is quite captivating. The young actress’ performance inspires comparisons to a young Natalie Portman in Luc Besson’s THE PROFESSIONAL. When she’s on-screen up against Hemsworth, she shines. Her absence in the second half is missed when Taylor-Joy takes over the role.

As usual, the chase scenes are the most entertaining with Miller creating new ways of attacking a convoy. Thankfully he didn’t repeat the same gimmicks as the previous outings but this one just seemed much more tamed than FURY ROAD. This isn’t quite the spectacle of FURY ROAD, but nonetheless, the driving stunts are insane. 

In terms of gimmicks, Miller’s signature action style of speeding up the vehicles in editing is iconic in the franchise. However in the fifth movie in the saga, it’s glaringly obvious to the point of it taking you out of the experience. Perhaps it could be attributed to the new digital technology which doesn’t always deliver smooth video.

Hemsworth’s wife Elsa Pataky pulls an Eddie Murphy playing multiple roles. The Spanish actress first appears as a villager from in Furiosa’s lush home, then as Dementus’ disfigured hench woman. Chris is making it a habit of working with his family. Pataky has made appearances in other projects with her husband, and his daughter appeared in THOR: LOVE AND THUNDER. It’s a sweet family affair.

FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA is exactly what you came for, a mad trip into the wasteland. the film is now playing in movie theaters.

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