Furiosa is a Vibrant Chaotic Crusade Through Mad Max's Wasteland, With Some Road Bumps (Review)

By Russ Milheim Posted:
Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is clearly a passion project for director George Miller, who successfully creates another chaotic crusade through the vibrant and celebrated Wasteland—even if it hits a few pieces of debris along the way.

The movie, which takes place decades before Tom Hardy’s Mad Max: Fury Road, follows Anya Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa in the post-apocalyptic wasteland and tells audiences how she came to be the woman Charlize Theron previously played.

This film would fail even to start its engines if it weren't for a strong lead in Anna Taylor-Joy’s performance as Furiosa.

Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa
Warner Bros.

While Theron is not present for this movie, most fans probably will not notice, as Taylor-Joy does a fantastic job bringing Furiosa to life. While she may not be the same hardened fans see in Fury Road, the character’s trademark ferocity is there in spades.

Praise must also go to Alyla Browne, who portrays the younger Furiosa in roughly an hour of the movie’s runtime.

Chris Hemsworth brings to life the film’s antagonist, Dementus, the true definition of chaotic insanity. The Thor actor clearly has a blast bringing the character’s depravity and ruthlessness to life.

Chris Hemsworth as Dementus in Furiosa
Warner Bros.

While there is not much depth to him, as the character is just the standard power-hungry madman, it’s fun to watch Hemsworth be the bad guy—which doesn't happen often. Some may feel that it gets a little too hammy at points, much like his other recent big film, Thor: Love and Thunder.

One of Furiosa's strongest elements is its color palette, which will thrust audiences right back into the harsh and beautiful world they last saw in Mad Max: Fury Road. This is a movie that’s going to look incredible on any HDR-capable display.

Now, one place this movie falters is with its pacing.

The entire narrative is split into five acts, with the first two following the younger Furiosa and Taylor-Joy getting the spotlight in the last two.

While it's commendable to see the story of a franchise known for its fast-paced pace and hectic action slow down and build an intimate foundation for its characters, its rather sluggish pace is felt. By the time it finally moves on to Act 3, many will probably be relieved to be in the thick of the action.

Ana Taylor-Joy and Tom Burke in Furiosa
Warner Bros.

That's not to say Acts 1 and 2 are bad—because they are not; the story just never feels as efficient as it could be.

One thing many praised Fury Road for was its practical elements, but the additional subtle and smart use of CGI and VFX is not credited as highly. This is relevant because, sadly, Furiosa does not have the same balance.

Quite often, it’s clear just how CGI-heavy the movie’s endless Wasteland vistas are, and it sticks out more than a handful of times in action sequences where the lighting just doesn't fit perfectly. It also makes it difficult to fully appreciate the practical work when one has trouble getting past the glaringly fake backdrops.

It’s also important to note another strength of the film: its world-building. There’s more of it in this installment than any other before, and it not only adds intrigue to this film’s proceedings but further fleshes out the overall world in which Mad Max exists.

At the end of the day, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a respectable entry in the long-running franchise, even if it never reaches the same highs as Fury Road. It’s led by an incredibly strong performance from Anya Taylor-Joy, has destructively creative action sequences, and adds some interesting worldbuilding to the Wasteland.

Furiosa: The Mad Max Saga plays in theaters on Friday, May 24.

Read more about Furiosa:

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Reviews: Critics Share Strong First Reactions

Mad Max: Furiosa's Recast Explained: Why Anya Taylor-Joy Replaced Charlize Theron

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Runtime Sets New Franchise Record

- In This Article: Furiosa
Release Date
May 24, 2024
Anya Taylor-Joy
- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.