Furiosa – REVIEW

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Furiosa review - the Mad Max saga continues with a prequel.....

When you have written and directed ‘Fury Road’ one of the greatest action films of modern times just how do you top it? That’s the problem George Miller attempts to answer with his follow up Mad Max 5 or Furiosa as its actually called as apart from a fleeting glimpse of Max this is her film all the way.  And whereas Fury Road took place over a few days this spans a fifteen year period starting with Furiosa as a young girl in a lush green oasis where a peaceful tribe of post apocalypse survivors reside keeping themselves to to themselves. That is until Furiosa is kidnapped by bikers. Her mother goes after them proving herself to be far more adept at battle than the four bikers she pursues but it’s Dementus (Chris Hensworth) a kind of surfer king with a bushy beard and false nose who puts an end to her intent and adopts Furiosa as his own having lost his own daughter and has her bedraggled teddy strapped to huis chest and looking like he’s modelled his look on a council dust cart that straps detritus to the engine grill.

But for Dementus as with all the tribes it is about power and petroleum and the Citadel where Immortan Joe, still looking like Peter Stringfellows evil twin brother,  presides over his army of suicide warriors all stripped to the waist and milk bottle white and easily mistaken for British tourist in Magaluf but without the STD’s. Dementus’ trade off sees him give Furiosa to Joe and as she grows up she manages to pass herself off as a young man (not entirely convincingly) and we know from Fury Road that ultimately that is where she will  end up rescuing his sex slave harem.

Split into 5 chapters such as Beyond Vengeance and Lessons from the Wasteland and it sees Dementus take over GasLand not an energy suppliers theme park folly but an enormous petroleum refinery that sees Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke) the driver who does the Fury Road run to collect petrol from the refinery that sees the films stand out action sequence as his tanker is defended by Immortan Joe’s suicidal warriors. It is an exhilarating sequence and the stand out extended set piece of the entire film. It sees the glimmer of a relationship between her and Jack emerge but it’s a story thread that soon evaporates. Miller as ever pulls off the set piece with customary aplomb and its one that the film never tops with the climactic vengeful face off between Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy)  and Dementus being low key and offbeat.

Mad Max 2 and Fury Road were both extraordinary action films and Furiosa, though tis not without it the expected car-nage is far more of an attempt at world building. The production design is phenomenal, the photography is great – especially in the first act, the costumes from Oscar winning Jenny Beaven are striking and yet whilst this is brilliantly made it is overlong, episodic and doesn’t reach the all conquering heights of Fury Road.

related feature : Behind the troubled scenes of Mad Max Fury Road……..

related feature : Boy Kills World director Moritz Mohr talks Bill Skarsgard, Sam Raimi & mad stunts !

Here’s the Furiosa trailer……

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