Home Entertainment Furiosa review: Anya Taylor-Joy's Mad Max prequel is as mesmerising as it...

Furiosa review: Anya Taylor-Joy's Mad Max prequel is as mesmerising as it is brutal


It’s been almost a decade since Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron starred in Mad Max: Fury Road, which has gone on to be hailed as one of the greatest action movies of all time.

Now writer-director George Miller returns with spin-off prequel Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, tracing the origins of Theron’s Imperator Furiosa, from her kidnapping all the way up to the opening of Fury Road.

Taking on the role this time around in the wastelands of post-apocalyptic Australia is Anya Taylor-Joy, who barely says a word throughout the film.

Starring opposite her is Chris Hemsworth as Dementus, an eccentric warlord who runs Gas Town, complete with a prosthetic nose above his large beard, so as not to be too comparable to Marvel’s Thor.

Meanwhile, familiar faces like Immortan Joe and his cohort of grotesque gangsters return in this bloody tale of revenge.

Whereas Mad Max: Fury Road was a car chase movie, Furiosa is a five-act saga. The story charts how she uses her wits and cunning to survive in what has reverted to an ancient world culture ruled by powerful oppressive despots. It’s a more narrative-driven film with wonderfully weird, cartoonish characters and a deeper dive into the lore of the world you just had to go with without much explanation in its predecessor. The prequel is also much more brutal than Fury Road, with some incredibly dark and bloody sequences. How this blockbuster isn’t an 18 is totally beyond me.

Yet the focus on the fantastical worldbuilding doesn’t take away from plenty of high-octane driven action. From the opening bike chase sequence, this blockbuster is breathtakingly engrossing thanks to Miller’s signature directing style with its centred zooms and slightly sped-up footage.

The action sequences might not quite reach the dizzying heights of Fury Road, but they’re still very impressive and highly entertaining, especially in the wide open spaces of the Australian desert.

Taylor-Joy is decent as the stoney-faced Furiosa, but Hemsworth steals the show as Dementus, who owns playing an unashamedly hammed-up, moustache-twirling villain.

Even Mad Max himself has a brief cameo thanks to Tom Hardy’s stunt-double and there’s talk of the main man getting a prequel too. Given the high quality of this and Fury Road, here’s hoping Miller isn’t parking the franchise anytime soon.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga hits UK cinemas on May 24, 2024.

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