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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga


Stars: Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Burke, Alyla Browne, Angus Sampson, John Howard, Elsa Pataky, Charlee Fraser, Josh Helman, Nathan Jones

Director: George Miller

First things first: despite the title, Max himself barely gets a look-in during this rambling saga of futuristic warfare in the Australian desert of the dystopian future.

Furiosa's backstory here begins when she's about 10 (and nicely played by Browne) and captured by a tribe of cannibal bikers led by Dementus (Hemsworth) who spends (literally) fruitless hours trying to get her to divulge directions to her home, Abundance.

The film loses any credibility it had early on, when Furiosa's mother (Fraser) rescues her, charging off on a bike with the cannibals in hot pursuit. Instead of trying to outrun them, she does a Gary Cooper from For Whom the Bell Tolls, and holds the pursuers off briefly, while Furiosa gets away. Unfortunately, this does no one any good, as Furiosa comes back to see Mom captured and crucified, while Dementus is no nearer finding Abundance.

Later, Furiosa is bartered by Dementus to get co-control of Gastown, a wasteland city, where, later, a grown-up Furiosa (Taylor-Joy) finds herself co-pilot of a giant gasolene truck driven by Praetorian Jack (Burke). Some good chase sequences follow, with the attackers aboard some of director Miller's usual weird contraptions, although who is fighting who and why is anybody's guess.

Even more ludicrous is Furiosa's tearing off of her lower left arm to evade capture; she would be surely be dead from loss of blood within minutes. As it is, her quest for revenge seems to go on half the night.

Taylor-Joy, who doesn't appear for an hour, doesn't really have that much to do, apart from glare vengefully and, presumably perform some of her own stuntwork, the (over) acting coming from Hemsworth, with Burke giving the film's only considered performance. Apart from the profits, I can't understand why Miller keeps reworking the same film, but then I'm sure there's more to come.

David Quinlan

Australia/UK/USA 2024. UK Distributor: Warner Borthers. Colour (unspecified).
149 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 22 May 2024