May 20, 2024

REEL | Fast and 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga' – Anya Taylor-Joy Lays Waste

"Do you have it in you to make it epic?"
Anya Taylor-Joy Tom Burke George Miller | Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Warner Bros. Pictures / Village Roadshow Pictures
George Miller, the 79-year-old Australian auteur, revisits the post-apocalyptic Wasteland in his blockbuster action prequel to Mad Max: Fury Road starring Anya Taylor-Joy and Alyla Browne as younger versions of the eponymous heroine. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga takes elements from his previous films to build another viscerally exciting and visually exhilarating cinematic experience.

Both Browne and Taylor-Joy are wondrous in their performances while evoking elements of Charlize Theron's original, famously stoic performance. Taylor-Joy further cements the character as an androgynous badass mute with maybe thirty lines of dialogue in the entire film to establish her expansive heroism.

Co-starring Chris Hemsworth and Tom Burke as the villainous Dementus and heroic Praetorian Jack, the young Imperator Furiosa's chief antagonist and mentor, Miller tells his sprawling epic over five distinct chapters and eighteen years that evolves the Mad Max lore further into a thrillingly explicit feminist adventure about the power of motherhood.

Anya Taylor-Joy George Miller | Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Scripted by Miller and Nico Lathouris, Furiosa is structurally more interesting and engaging as a relentless epic story of revenge with far more heart despite repeating many elements audiences were thrilled by in Fury Road. It goes beyond the Mad Max lore in establishing the Wasteland's landscape between the Citadel, Bullet Farm, and Gastown.

There are a few new characters, but Hemsworth and Burke make memorable additions in completely opposite ways to build up Taylor-Joy's stature. Hemsworth, in particular, hams it up sublimely as a charismatic goofball warlord prone to big speeches while the Wasteland survivors largely stay silent.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is another stunningly harsh yet fantastical adrenaline rush of pure carnage on screen. How Miller hands action through trauma makes the bleak, dispiriting nature of loss and violence all the more viscerally impactful. It's more pure cinematic fury and spectacle.

More | YVArcade / Inverse / Polgyon / ScreenCrush

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