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"Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga" (2024): From Thor to Tyrant - Movie Review

As the world fell, young Furiosa is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers and falls into the hands of a great Biker Horde led by the Warlord Dementus. Sweeping through the Wasteland they come across the Citadel presided over by The Immortan Joe. While the two Tyrants war for dominance, Furiosa must survive many trials as she puts together the means to find her way home.

Grab your leather jackets and dust off your steampunk goggles, folks! The latest addition to the Mad Max universe, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, has hit the big screen, and it's a wild, gritty ride back to the Wasteland. This prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road stars the enigmatic Anya Taylor-Joy, the thunderous Chris Hemsworth, and the ever-versatile Tom Burke. George Miller is back at the helm, ensuring that the desert is as desolate, the villains are as vile, and the action is as relentless as ever.

As the world falls apart, young Furiosa is snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers by the great Biker Horde, led by the Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). Sweeping through the Wasteland, they encounter the Citadel, presided over by the tyrannical Immortan Joe. While these two tyrants battle for dominance, Furiosa must endure numerous trials and tribulations, piecing together a plan to find her way back home. It's a classic tale of survival and revenge, set against a backdrop of a world gone mad—literally.

George Miller’s Nostradamus Moment

George Miller had the script for Furiosa ready before Mad Max: Fury Road even hit theaters. Miller explains, "In order to tell that story cohesively, we had to know everything that happened before, so we wrote a story about Furiosa from the time she was taken as a child, as she refers to in Fury Road, until she became the Imperator Furiosa." This foresight allowed the cast and crew of Fury Road to immerse themselves fully in the lore of the Mad Max universe, with a complete screenplay and concept art providing a rich backdrop.

The Thrilling, The Violent, and The Hemsworth

Longest Action Sequence Ever: Let's start with the pièce de résistance—a 15-minute action sequence dubbed "Stairway to Nowhere." This scene alone took 78 days to shoot and involved nearly 200 crew members daily. It's the longest continuous fight scene in any Mad Max movie and showcases Furiosa’s gritty determination and resourcefulness. When they finally wrapped, everyone was gifted "Stairway to Nowhere" wine—because after 78 days of non-stop action, you definitely need a drink.

Epic Deaths of War Boys: If there's one thing Mad Max movies do well, it's creatively dispatching their antagonists. The War Boys' death scenes are nothing short of spectacular, each one a masterclass in choreographed chaos.

Chris Hemsworth as a Savage Villain: Thor, who? Chris Hemsworth sheds his godly persona and dives headfirst into the role of Dementus, a warlord as charming as he is deadly. Seeing Hemsworth play against type as a villain is delightfully refreshing.

Nostalgic Cameos: Fans of Fury Road will enjoy spotting familiar villains in their prime. Keep your eyes peeled for some subtle cameos that pay homage to the previous film while enriching the backstory.

George Miller's Vision: Miller has hinted at another Mad Max story titled "The Wasteland," depending on how well Furiosa does. Fingers crossed we get one more ride with all our favorite heroes, perhaps even with Mel Gibson returning for an epic finale.

The Slow, The Bland, and The Predictable

Slower Pace: After the relentless pace of Fury Road, Furiosa feels like it's stuck in second gear at times. The slower moments are intended to build character and backstory, but they often drag, making you yearn for the next explosion.

Missing Visual Style: The iconic color scheme and cinematography of Fury Road are absent here. The visual flair that made the previous film so striking is dialed down, which is a shame because it was one of the highlights of the series.

Predictable Prequel Problems: Knowing how Fury Road ends spoils some of the suspense in Furiosa. Key plot points feel inevitable rather than surprising. If they had made these movies in order, the narrative impact would have been much stronger.

Fun Facts to Impress Your Friends

15-Minute Action Sequence: The "Stairway to Nowhere" action sequence is a major highlight, taking 78 days to shoot with close to 200 crew members working daily. Anya Taylor-Joy explained that it showcases Furiosa's accumulated skills and grit.

Filming in Australia: Furiosa returns to the roots of the Mad Max franchise, being filmed in New South Wales, Australia. All Mad Max movies have been filmed in Australia, except for Fury Road, which was shot in Namibia due to unexpected lush greenery in the Australian desert.

Digital De-Aging: Young Furiosa is played by Alyla Browne, with Anya Taylor-Joy's face digitally de-aged and superimposed onto Browne’s. This seamless transition is a testament to modern visual effects technology.

George Miller’s Novella: George Miller and Nico Lathouris wrote a novella about Max's year before Fury Road and Furiosa's backstory, providing a rich narrative foundation for the films.

Possible Future Film: Miller revealed a potential next installment, "The Wasteland," is ready to go, continuing from the extensive prep done for Fury Road.

Final Thoughts and Rating

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga delivers a mix of high-octane action and deep character development. While it doesn’t quite match the frenetic energy of Fury Road, it carves out its own space in the Mad Max universe with memorable performances, especially from Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth. The pacing could have been tighter, and the visual style more vibrant, but overall, it’s a solid addition to the saga.

My final rating? 7.2/10. It’s a must-watch for Mad Max fans and anyone who enjoys post-apocalyptic action with a touch of heart.

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