Furiosa Review: 4 Ways It Meets the Bar Set by Fury Road

Furiosa Review: 4 Ways It Meets the Bar Set by Fury Road

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga arrives next week and it’s being met with both sheer excitement and trepidation as many wonder whether it can possibly live up to the high bar set by Mad Max: Fury Road. We’re here to reassure you that while Furiosa is different from Fury Road, it differs in the best ways and establishes itself as another relentless epic from the visionary Aussie director George Miller. Here are just a few reasons why we think it is just as good as its predecessor.

Furiosa Review: Is it a worthy Mad Max prequel?

Does a Mad Max movie work without Max?

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Furiosa, Mad Max 5 review (Image: Warner Bros)

While Furiosa has Mad Max in its subtitle, there should be no confusion: this is not Max’s story. In fact, Max doesn’t appear in it at all (bar one brief cameo).

This is actually something of a welcome story choice. Furiosa was one of the most intriguing characters introduced in Fury Road, and often threatened to overshadow Tom Hardy’s Max. There was lot left unsaid about her as a character that was just begging to be explored. Miller takes these unanswered questions and spins them into an epic tale befitting of such an iconic character.

Where Fury Road takes place almost in real-time, Furiosa stretches things out, exploring the character’s life from the time she is taken from the Green Place as a child right up until where we find her in the 2015 movie. Anya Taylor-Joy and Alyla Browne share the role of Furiosa, the former portraying her as a young adult and the latter when she is a child, with both bringing quiet strength and grit to the role made famous by Charlize Theron.

Furiosa is a markedly different character to Max, but her story is no less harrowing, relentless and epic, and this film establishes her as one of the female action heroes of all-time.

Furiosa has one of the best villains

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Furiosa, Mad Max 5 review (Image: Warner Bros)

Part of the Mad Max saga’s appeal has been its array of oddball villains – whether it be the menacing man of few words – Immortan Joe – or his council of strange allies, like the People Eater or Organic Mechanic (both of whom appear again here). Furiosa introduces us to one of the saga’s standout foes in Chris Hemsworth’s Dr Dementus.

Playing very much against his usual heroic type, Hemsworth absolutely commits as Dementus, bringing us some zinger one-liners and a character who is both layered with interesting flaws and a complete wild card. Finding a villain to match Immortan Joe was never going to be an easy task, but Dementus is a worthy rival who provides a perfect foil for Furiosa.

The stunts are unmatched

Furiosa, Mad Max 5 review
Furiosa, Mad Max 5 review (Image: Warner Bros)

Mad Max: Fury Road brought a refreshing dose of relentless action back in 2015, made even more exciting due to the fact that so many of its intense sequences and stunts were done for real. That’s no different in Furiosa.

A lot has already been made of the pivotal ‘Stowaway to Nowhere‘ sequence in the film. It’s a 15-minute sequence that took 78 days to shoot, requiring almost 200 stunt people, and it absolutely lives up to all the hype it is getting.

Similar to The Fall Guy or Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning, Furiosa is a true feat of filmmaking and another solid example of why stunt teams deserve recognition at the biggest awards shows.

Furiosa is different in all the right ways

Furiosa, Mad Max 5 review
Furiosa review (Image: Warner Bros)

It’s worth mentioning that while Furiosa is a direct prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road, they operate differently. Sure, in more ways than one, they are very similar – these are the same characters, it’s the same world with the same level of action handled with the same tone and style. However, the two stories are structured very differently.

Furiosa lacks the relentless pace that had you constantly on the edge of your seat in Fury Road. Instead, it is an odyssey, exploring the trials Furiosa endures over a number of years that forge her into the fearsome Imperator we know she becomes.

While the pacing isn’t as frenetic as Fury Road, the film is no less epic, expanding on this post-apocalyptic world in all the best ways. Instead of dropping you into the action and forcing you to keep up, Furiosa builds out the wasteland and its array of curious characters. It allows you more time to enjoy the quirks and corners of this world, but at the same time, it never takes you out of the driving seat with Furiosa, and makes you feel a part of her vengeance journey every step of the way.

There are so many more positive things that could be said about Furiosa, but all you really need to know is that George Miller has once again delivered a spectacular vision that doesn’t disappoint. Furiosa is a film that begs to be seen on the biggest, loudest screen possible.

Witness it in Australian theatres from May 23.

Lead Image Credit: Warner Bros.


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