Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
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MOVIE REVIEW

FURIOSA: A Mad Max Saga

also known as “Furiosa,” “Furiosa: Bir Mad Max Destanı,” “Furiosa: Câu Chuyện Từ Max Điên,” “Furiosa: De la saga Mad Max,” “Furiosa: Saga Mad Max,” See more »
MPA Rating: R-Rating (MPA) for sequences of strong violence, and grisly images.

Reviewed by: Mike Klamecki
CONTRIBUTOR

Moral Rating: Very Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Adults
Genre: Sci-Fi Action Adventure Sequel IMAX
Length: 2 hr. 28 min.
Year of Release: 2024
USA Release: May 24, 2024 (wide release)
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Companyclick photos to ENLARGE Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company
Relevant Issues
Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

Traumatized child to damaged adult

A “bright, young innocent lose everything that has ever meant anything to her, and her heart hardens” becoming cruel

Revenge movie driven by hate / “hurt people hurt people”

A savage, post-apocalypse dystopian world

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

Evil on full display

Tyrants warring for dominance

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

Brutal anarchy / horrific barbarity

Fighting to survive

Survival of the fittest

Persistently bleak / Existential Nihilism

About the fall of mankind to worldwide depravity

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

Possibilities of the individual who takes action

A culture where war is inescapable

A wounded woman warrior fueled more by hate than hope

Bloodlust

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

Grisly violence treating human life as extremely cheap

About murder

About death

Copyright, Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

FILM VIOLENCE—How does viewing violence in movies affect families? Answer

What is the Biblical perspective on war? Answer

Elements of Wokeism

A virtual paradise “Green Place” created by the “Tribe of Many Mothers” (a ‘place of abundance’) run by empowered women (Amazonian-like warriors) — wiser and far less short-sighted than the lecherous brutes that ended civilization and replaced it with monstrous cruel dictatorships

Organized women fighting a crazed, violently sexist (patriarchal) society that uses women instead of loving and protecting them

Agile, cunning young woman who seems able to defeat most muscular ultra-violent men with all their firepower

Director George Miller is a Feminist.

Is the FEMINIST MOVEMENT the right answer to the mistreatment that some women endure in this sinful world? Answer
Hopelessness

About despair, fear and hope

Learn about spiritual darkness versus light

Click here to watch THE HOPE on-line!
Discover God’s promise for all people—told beautifully and clearly from the beginning. Discover The HOPE! Watch it on Christian Answers

THE REAL POST-APOCALYPSE WORLD COMING—What will the biblical Millennium be like? Answer —also see: Millennium

Wilderness

The outback of Australia

About deserts and wilderness in the Bible

Featuring Anya Taylor-JoyImperator Furiosa
Alyla Browne … Young Furiosa
Chris HemsworthWarlord Dr. Dementus
Charlee FraserMary Jabassa, Furiosa’s mother
Angus SampsonThe Organic Mechanic
Tom BurkePraetorian Jack
Nathan JonesRictus Erectus
Lachy HulmeImmortan Joe / Rizzdale Pell
Josh HelmanScrotus
George ShevtsovThe History Man
John HowardThe Peopler Eater
Elsa PatakyVuvalini General / Mr Norton
David Field … Toe Jam
Spencer ConnellyRakka The Brackish
MatuseFang
See all »
Director George Miller
Producer Kennedy Miller Mitchell [Australia]
Warner Bros.
See all »
Distributor
Distributor: Warner Brothers Pictures. Trademark logo.
Warner Bros. Pictures
, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company

“As the world falls around us, how must we brave its cruelty?”
—opening line in “Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga”

Previous film: “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015)

The Mad Max franchise, started all the way back in 1979, started as an Ozploitation release (those films made in Australia after the introduction of the Rated R label) that achieved somewhat of a cult following thanks to its creator/director George Miller and soon-to-be movie star Mel Gibson. The succession of Mad Max sequels had a simple formula: introduce Max as a troubled and distant protagonist, introduce very strange antagonists who wrong Max in some way, have Max begrudgingly give helpless victims aid that culminates with insane wasteland vehicle chases, and sprinkle in generous amounts of human oddities and bone-crushing desert stunts.

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is a prequel of Miller’s last Mad Max 2015 epic “Fury Road” which, in it’s own right, was probably one the most intense and over-the-top action movies ever seen (and from a director turning 70!). Now George is back at the ripe old age of 79 with probably his most detailed and epic movie yet. Seriously, how does this guy keep cranking these movies out with such consistently creative/high-octane aplomb?

“Fusiosa” is also a journey back to the original Mad Max roots in which simple, rage-filled vengeance is the main driver of the wasteland antagonist and what follows is not pretty. It seems that, in his old age, George Miller has upped the diabolical duality of grim and giddy to present probably his darkest tale yet (albeit with the same manic flourishes of all the Max movies).

All we knew about the character Furiosa (played by Charlize Theron in “Fury Road”) was that she was a skilled “war rig” driver with a steely determination and a sympathetic heart towards Immortan Joe’s captive “wives” who were pressured to bring forth offspring into this desert hellscape. In this film we get a more complete story of what makes Furiosa tick and what ticked her off to become the squint-eyed vengeful force of nature we see in the trailers.

Told in five chapters, Furiosa starts out as a young girl (played by talented newcomer Alyla Browne) living in the Eden-like Green Place with her mother and many other denizens (although what kind of name is Furiosa to name your baby you birthed in paradise?). She picks fruit from a tree with her friend only to be kidnapped by some motorbike marauders that look like they stepped out of an 80’s MTV metal video.

Her mother (Charlee Fraser) goes in pursuit and is able to use her sniper talents to eliminate the kidnappers except for the one who delivers young Furiosa to the heart of the moto-marauders camp run by warlord Dr. Dementus (a never-better Chris Hemsworth) who presents as a white-robed Messiah figure with a hilariously over-the-top Australian accent.

Dementus, though kind to young Furiosa, wants to find the Green Place for himself, and it doesn’t take long to see how his seeming kindness is quickly replaced by demonic ruthlessness as he captures Furiosa’s mother and tortures her to death. This plants the seed of vengeance in young Furiosa’s mind and heart.

From here we follow Dementus and Furiosa (as his young liege) as he sets to take over Immortan Joe’s citadel, the fuel production site Gastown, and armament manufacturing site Bullettown which are all owned and ran by Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) and his colorfully gross gang of wasteland warlords.

For those of us who have seen “Fury Road,” we get some interesting backstory on these places that were only briefly touched upon in the previous film, plus there is more world building with the Immortan Joe character and his warboys.

Dementus has planted a bomb in Gastown and threatens to blow it up unless he is given the property. After negotiations, Fusriosa is traded by Dementus to Immortan Joe to eventually be one of his young brides and in return Dementus gets control of Gastown.

During this time Furiosa grows and learns how to stay hidden in plain sight and is trained to drive a war-rig for Immortan Joe through the mentoring of professional driver Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke) which makes her extremely valuable.

The grown up Furiosa played by Anya Taylor-Joy is silent, deadly-serious, and exudes a menace that is all eye-acting. Many actors in this movie are acting the heck out of their ocular cavities, but as you look through the Mad Max catalog there is a proud tradition of silent face acting and steely looks that Miller brings forth in his cast.

When you see Anya Taylor-Joy in pictures she looks like the wind is about to blow her away. Yet as Furiosa she gives off a “don’t mess with me” vibe that is compelling. Through careful costume manipulation her physicality is not hindered by her waif-like physique.

To the script’s credit, she isn’t a “Mary Sue” (a female boss character unrealistically free of weaknesses) in that she gets manhandled and beat up for most of this movie. She is, however, a survivor that crawls out of every situation with grit, determination, and strength.

Suffice it to say that Dr. Dementus is a shrewd tactician and is able to achieve some form of successful take-over of Immortan Joe’s empire, but he lacks the management skills to actually govern. We see his followers become more and more irritated and rebellious, which makes Dementus become more and more cruel. In fact, we see the progression (or degradation) of his cruelty in his clothing (going from white to red to black) and in how he addresses himself as the Red Dementus or Black Dementus.

Furiosa and her mentor are captured by Dementus. She escapes by losing an arm as her captor is dispatched by being dragged behind a motorcycle and mauled by dogs. This fuels her rage even more until a final confrontation with Dementus ensues in the bleak sand swept dunes of Australia (and Miller definitely lets you know we are in Australia).

Many amazing highway chase scenes occur and insane action stunts push the film to a rather long runtime of two hours and twenty-eight minutes (and you feel the exhaustive length for sure). The cinematography is always amazing with Miller—creative angles and fresh ideas on how to have the camera move up, down and around large objects crashing into each other. There is more CGI used in “Furiosa” than “Fury Road” and some of it looks really fake and took me out of the movie. I don’t blame an almost 80 year old for not wanting to shoot in the hot Australian desert, but maybe render those CGI effects a little more next time, George.

“Furiosa” turns up the odd, disturbing and strange factor to way past ten on the dial. The violence is turned up higher than before as well. We see mutilations, body parts, maggots on rotting flesh, children in peril, suicidal fighters, shootings, stabbings, crucifixions, people being drawn and quartered, blunt force trauma, plus a disturbing still birth scene.

There is no sex, but there is some nudity in the form a lingering shot of a Victorian painting. There are also offensive costume choices like lots of creative and suggestive codpieces and nipple piercings, plus some names of characters may be offensive as well. There are many body horror mutations, malformations, and deformities.

This is the grimmest film of the whole Mad Max franchise. I’m a fan of Mad Max movies, but I was unsettled after this one ended, and I think it was because it was sooooo serious and dour. In most of the Mad Max movies there is a little levity or characters that bring humor into the situation (think of the the gyrocopter pilot, the feral boy, or even the warboy that helps Max in “Fury Road”), but there isn’t anyone like that in “Furiosa.” Everyone is just trying to survive this cruel world by the skin of their knuckles, and the only real outcome in any situation is violence and vengeance.

Lessons

A character named the History Man (George Shevtsov) opens the film with the quote “As the world falls around us how must we brave its cruelty?” which is incredibly apropos for “Furiosa.” Many of us in the real world may ask the same thing as society seems to have become more divided, dangerous, and disenchanting. For those who are raising children, they have serious concerns about the society we are finding ourselves in and the education choices they have for their children. Of course it’s nowhere near the Mad Max world but we are seeing major shifts in this post-Christiandom world.

The Bible verse Hebrews 10:25 urges believers “to not give up meeting together, but to encourage one another” and whether that is in a church, a small group, a prayer group, men’s/women’s fellowship, or some other venue, it is important now more than ever to find your tribe of believers so you can build yourself up in faith and truth.

I don’t think it works anymore to be the nomadic believer in today’s society. We need both encouragement and accountability from other Christ-followers to help us live rightly in these days before our Lord’s return. Together we brave the world’s cruelty and seek God’s protection and redemption in the part-time cultural wasteland.

If you are a fan of the franchise you may appreciate many things about “Furiosa,” but this may be a lot to take. If you choose to take the trip through this sandy violent wasteland know that you may need a good mind-shower after it’s all said and done.

  • Violence: Very Heavy to Extreme
  • Nudity: Moderate —nude in painting; bare-chested men; nipple piercings
  • Vulgar/Crude language: Moderate —b*llocks, testes (1), b*stard (2), p*ss (several)
  • Profane language: G*d (1)
  • Sex: None, but implied warlord harem; lots of creative and suggestive codpieces; son named Scrotus, another Erectus
  • Wokeism: see list
  • Drugs/Alcohol: Mild
  • Occult: None

Learn about DISCERNMENT—wisdom in making personal entertainment decisions

cinema tickets. ©  Alexey SmirnovEvery time you buy a movie ticket or buy or rent a video you are in effect casting a vote telling Hollywood, “I’ll pay for that. That’s what I want.” Read our article

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.


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Movie Critics
…Hate to be a grouch when legions of social media film bros are breathlessly worshipping at the altar of The Demi-God of Cinema, George Miller, but “Furiosa” is a big step down from “Mad Max: Fury Road.” …
David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter
…the grimmest and most deliberately punishing of Miller’s visions. The occasional stabs at black comedy feel a little off. …Miller’s not kidding around. He doesn’t like how humankind mistreats its home or degrades the culture with “ridiculous perversions and witty mutilations.” …
Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune
…takes itself far too seriously… “Furiosa” is all spectacle and no vision… the movie, divided into chapters with droney titles like “Lessons from the Wasteland,” evolves into a slog that’s working hard to persuade us we’re having a good time, though it may not be actually giving us one. …
Stephanie Zacharek, Time
…the first “Mad Max” movie I can remember that just drags through the violent and occasionally exciting later acts. …gets to be a repetitive drag… [2/4]
Roger Moore, Movie Nation
…Miller’s strenuous efforts to up the ante come to feel more exhausting than exhilarating. You soon reach the point where you're sick of sand, sick of explosions, sick of off-puttingly sadistic violence, and sick of thunderous drums bashing away on the soundtrack, and yet the film keeps piling on more and more and more of them. … [3/5]
Nicholas Barber, BBC
…as dazzling sequences, but George Miller’s overstuffed epic is no ‘Fury Road’…
Owen Gleiberman, Variety
…“FURIOSA” bombs hard at the box office: “Worst Memorial Day opening in over 4 decades”… Could it be that no one was interested in seeing an origin-story spinoff about a female character no one ever cared about? Perhaps, maybe, no one is interested in seeing a Mad-Max movie with no Mad Max?…
Holly Ash, NotTheBee
…Your level of enjoyment will depend on whether or not you need a message with your mayhem. …
Wendy Ide, The Guardian (UK)
…Hardcore fans of Mad Max will find a great deal to like here, but if you are the sort of filmgoer who expects much more from George Miller, you will be left feeling shortchanged. …
Saibal Chatterjee, NDTV
…“Furiosa” isn’t trying to make the apocalypse look cool, George Miller’s “Fury Road” sequel is bleaker and more fantastical than you might expect… the pall of hopelessness that hangs over the movie… if you’re trying to make any sense of this, you’ll find it increasingly stalled out. …
Bilge Ebiri, Vulture (New York Magazine)
…“Furiosa” is a frustrating misstep. Its increased reliance on CGI and poor editing choices detract… I yearn for a return to Max’s story, with Tom Hardy or even an aging Mel Gibson reprising the role. …Furiosa’s journey…pales in comparison…
James McDonald, Irish Film Critic