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FILM REVIEW: FURIOSA – A MAD MAX SAGA (15) ESP RATING: 4/5



It’s such a shame that another slice of George Miller magic may actually grind the Mad Max franchise to a shuddering halt.


And that hasn’t anything to do with the quality of the movie, because this is arguably the best in the series – with production values oozing throughout.



It’s because the target demographic is far too limited for a summer blockbuster movie. Especially opening on the coveted US Memorial weekend – leaving it as the worst bow in that slot for several decades (bar Covid of course).


And even though lead starlet Anya Taylor-Joy is coming off rave reviews in The Queen’s Gambit – and Chris Hemsworth has a name as Thor in the MCU – sadly they don’t exude the same ‘star power’ as Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron did for the last iteration nine years ago.



But, as aforementioned above, despite the box-office being underwhelming – which may put the kibosh on writer/director Miller’s grander future plans – this is a sometimes-breathtaking piece of cinema.


This prequel story goes back to the origins of Theron’s Imperator Furiosa featured in Fury Road, as she’s snatched from the Green Place of Many Mothers, and into the hands of a Biker Horde – led by Hemsworth’s Warlord Dementus. Who slaughters her mother when she tries to rescue her.



Imprisoned as Dementus’ ‘pet project’ – due to her value being raised from the harsh realities of the wasteland – his gang eventually crosses paths with the Citadel and its cult leader Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), as they fight over the remaining resources of water, food, weaponry and gasoline across the barren post-apocalyptic landscape.


As part of a deal for Dementus running the local gas refinery – known as GasTown – Furiosa is traded to Joe, and over the years becomes a trusted lieutenant of the iconic figurehead – and goes on to assist his military commander Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke).





Jack fondly takes the young Furiosa under his wing, and through various trials and tribulations she learns to survive in the wasteland arena – with the aim of plotting her way home. But not before gaining vengeance on Dementus for the death of her mother.


And this all unravels over a methodical nearly two and a half hours, that breezes by across five compelling chapters – as we move from one exciting action set piece to the next.


It also definitely helps evolve the lore of Miller’s Mad Max universe through a more colourful-than-usual palette, with a solid storyline that will whet the appetite for more. But, unfortunately whether there’s enough of a fanbase for that, only time will tell.



One thing for sure is that Taylor-Joy brings much (ahem) joy to proceedings with a stand-out performance, that she highlights predominantly with facial expressions instead of speech – and Hemsworth (particularly) and Burke are worthy support.


But even though it would be ‘mad’ for the franchise to ‘max out’ due to its lack of box-office take – there’s no doubting this is another tremendous cinematic spectacle that deserves to find an audience.

 

Rating: 4/5

 

Gavin Miller




Showcase Cinema De Lux Peterborough, Out Now

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

Running Time: 2 Hrs 28 Mins

Director: George Miller

 

Go to www.showcasecinemas.co.uk for all the latest film information & showtimes at Peterborough’s Showcase Cinema De Lux

 

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