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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga review: A high-octane prequel to cherish

Source: The New Daily

Warning: Spoilers ahead

George Miller’s return to the world of Mad Max may be lacking its namesake – aside from one brief cameo – but the high-octane prequel serves as a worthy companion to the Oscar-winning Fury Road.

Violent and loud, but with depth as deep as the Australian outback is wide, Furiosa complements and fills in some – but not all – of Fury Road’s empty corners, while avoiding the pitfalls that many prequel films often fall into.

For moviegoers who loved or enjoyed Fury Road, Furiosa’s mayhem will offer more of the same and will stir similar excitement.

Those looking for something different or new, however, won’t find it in Miller’s bonkers piece of cinema and it’s unlikely Furiosa will be winning over any critics of the series.

Covering roughly 15 years before Furiosa meets Max Rockatansky, the 2-hour and 28-minute run time flies by in a spectacle of action-packed set pieces and strong performances from its cast.

Anya Taylor-Joy and Alyla Browne, who play the older and younger Furiosa respectively, capture Charlize Theron’s spirit with quiet anger and stoic strength.

Although it is Chris Hemsworth’s unhinged humour and menacing Australian twang that steals the show.

Playing Dr Dementus, a warlord bikie, Hemsworth drives – often literally – the well-paced plot along with his petty wasteland politics and ambitions greater than the road, creating a foil for the young Furiosa to conquer in a winding tale of revenge.

Chris Hemsworth’s over-the-top performance as Dementus is a highlight. Photo: Warner Brothers Entertainment

Road well travelled

It’s no surprise that Miller wrote Furiosa first, before the production of Fury Road, as it fleshes out a well-travelled world with style and aplomb.

It looks every dollar of its $175 million production cost, making it the most expensive piece of cinema ever filmed in Australia, and features an extensive cast of Australian production crew, actors and extras.

After the success of Fury Road it was clear that the next entry into the Mad Max universe – which was launched in 1979 with Mel Gibson as the titular character – would be a slick affair.

Some 40 years later Miller still has the directorial and creative magic that made Mad Max, filmed on a shoestring budget, one of the most profitable films ever, while revealing the series still has plenty left in the tank.

Miller, aged 79, has signed up Tom Hardy, who starred as Max in Fury Road, for a further three movies, although the timeline for new entries in the series has never been tight, ranging from two to 30 years.

If Furiosa ultimately is Miller’s last wasteland road trip, then it is, without any doubt, one to cherish and remember.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in cinemas on May 23

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