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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

"There will always be war. But to get home, Furiosa fought the world."

Epic might be the only word sweeping enough to describe George Miller's brilliant new entry in the Mad Max canon, FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA.

Driven by two great performances at its core and action sequences that deliver everything we've come to expect from Miller, it's a jaw dropping, violent spectacle worthy of the brand.

From the moment that the Warner Bros. logo appears and Tom Holkenborg's music roars in your face, Miller immerses you back into the post apocalyptic wasteland first depicted 45 years ago in 1979's "Mad Max".

What a trip.

How does Miller possibly follow up on 2015's "Mad Max: Fury Road"? He takes us back to the origin story of Furiosa, the bad-ass warrior depicted by Charlize Theron in the previous film. Miller's brilliance starts off with his casting.

Alyla Browne (Three Thousand Years of Longing) is a find as the young Furiosa, separated from the Eden like, secret homeland she's been raised in by marauders as the film opens.

Her mother (Charlee Fraser) pursues Furiosa's kidnappers in the first great action sequence, displaying where the young warrior got her spirit. Furiosa's trail leads to the desert tent of the loudest, biggest wannabe ruler in the wastelands, Dr. Dementus, played with relish by Chris Hemsworth. Sporting a large prosthetic nose and choppers, Hemsworth delivers a lethal combination of stupidity, hunger for power and showmanship that makes Dementus a natural leader among the dregs of what's left of the world. His biker horde sweeps across the landscape like some twisted, majestic combination of "Ben Hur" and "Lawrence of Arabia".

Thus begins a story that spans decades over the next two and a half hours.

The story harkens back to "The Road Warrior" with the transportation of fuel in giant, futuristic tankers created from 20th century vehicles. As in "Fury Road" defenders of the fuel cover the tops of the vehicles, loaded with every weapon imaginable (and then some) to defend the precious fuel on their trips outside the refinery.

That fuel route runs directly to the giant towers of The Citadel, ruled over by The Immortan Joe, a hulking, terrifying but intelligent presence, played by Lache Hulme (The Matrix Revolutions).

If you know and love "Fury Road" you know how Furiosa and he interact in that film. It's interesting and sometimes jarring to see their interactions in this entry as a young Furiosa finds a home amongst Immortan Joe and his brides. When your choice as a young girl is between Joe and Dementus, your life is not easy.

As the film's five defined chapters span the years, Furiosa is now played by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Menu, The Northman). Hardened, relentless and the definition of a survivor, Furiosa is soon co-driving the War Machine on its fuel runs with Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke from "Mank"). Their foreheads slathered in black oil, weapons in every crevasse of their outfits, Furiosa and Jack pilot the tankers to hell and back.

Since the original film, we've seen crazy bands of attackers come after these tankers, but Miller pulls out all the stops here, topping all the previous tanker trip sequences of the previous films.

The attacks come from the sides, from behind, from above.

Furiosa and Jack climb all over the rig as part of their driving while explosions, flaming spears and bullets spray all around them. I sat slack jawed more than once as Miller executed incredible stunt on top of stunt, photographer Simon Duggan (The Great Gatsby, Hacksaw Ridge) moving his camera around, under and on top of the rig and all the assault vehicles.

There's a lot of laughs to be had too. Immortan Joe's sons are named Rictus Erectus and Scrotus. They live up to their names. His looks of disgust at his offspring's lack of brains are hilarious.

Dementus' sidekick Toe Jam is missing an eye, but rarely his hat. This is a dusty sideshow from Hades.

George Shestov has been in Miller's films all the way back to "Dead Calm" in 1989 and he has one of his best roles here as The History Man, a wizened old man who's a walking dictionary for Dementus, always at his side to define a word or cite historical context. Watching Hemsworth's Dementus fail to understand 90% of it made me laugh a lot.

His skin covered with tiny words, The History Man also serves as our part name narrator.

I loved diving deeper into the history of Furiosa, but let's be honest. We're all here for the patented thrills that Miller lives to create. It was a thrill to watch him visually reference the original film, while expanding it straight up sand dunes and through narrow caverns.

As cars speed directly toward the camera, the lens seems to jump toward the driver 10 feet at a time, thrusting them into your face as the Dolby Cinema sound roars with every pedal to the metal. At least a half dozen times, my friend and I turned to each other and said "The sound!"

You can feel the engines.

In ALL the right ways.

Just one of the 15 minute tanker run action sequences took 78 days to shoot with over 200 actors on screen. It is stunning.

Once again, George Miller negotiates a brilliant middle ground between a jacked up action flick and a thinking person's meditation on power, vengeance & survival.

Miller may by 79, but he hasn't lost a step as one of the most visionary filmmakers working today.

I'm hoping he's already working on the next installment.

FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA devours you with sound & sight, blazing its way to an A.

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27 mai

Another great review. This is another in my long list of movies to see this year. I wasn't a huge fan of "Mad Max: Fury Road" to be honest. I enjoyed the breathtaking action but wasn't impressed with the storytelling. I'm curious to see whether this sequel will solve issues that I had with the first film. Here's why I enjoyed "Fury Road":

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) – Movie Review – The Film Buff (

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