Geek Review – Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Witness her.

Few characters in recent cinematic history have captured audiences’ imaginations like Imperator Furiosa. From the moment she commandeered her War Rig and defied Immortan Joe in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, her strength, resilience, and unwavering quest for redemption resonated deeply. Portrayed with fierce intensity by Charlize Theron, Furiosa was a standout in a film teeming with chaos and combustion, leaving audiences yearning to know more about her origins and the path that led her to become the formidable warrior navigating across the desolate wastelands.

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How did she come to be abducted from the Land of Many Mothers? What were the circumstances surrounding her mother’s death? How did she ascend to the rank of Imperator in a dominion seemingly reserved for men? And the lingering mystery: what happened to her arm? In response, George Miller, the visionary director behind the Mad Max saga, has crafted Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

The weight of expectations is heavy, especially considering the monumental impact of Fury Road. That film was a masterclass in action filmmaking, a symphony of dust, chrome, and gasoline that pushed the boundaries of the genre. Yet, Miller, known for his audacious vision and meticulous craftsmanship, has seemingly embraced the challenge with fervor.


This cinematic origin story is a far cry from Vertigo’s controversial Mad Max: Fury Road – Furiosa #1 comic, which subjected the character to a gratuitous narrative of abuse and victimisation. Thankfully, Furiosa avoids those pitfalls, positioning Furiosa not as a victim but as the architect of her own vengeful saga. This story shifts away from the relentless chase of Fury Road to a more deliberate tale of retribution, marked by a gnarlier, more introspective tone. 

Furiosa’s narrative unfolds in a post-apocalyptic world where a young Furiosa, brought to life by Anya Taylor-Joy (The Queen’s Gambit, The Menu) and Alyla Browne as a child, is torn from the verdant Green Place of Many Mothers. Captured by the formidable Biker Horde led by warlord Dementus, portrayed by Chris Hemsworth of Thor (2011) fame, her journey through the Wasteland begins. Her path crosses with the Citadel, under the rule of Immortan Joe, reimagined by Lachy Hulme (The Matrix Reloaded, The Matrix Revolutions) after the late Hugh Keays-Byrne in Fury Road, who also played the villain Toecutter in the original Mel Gibson-led Mad Max movies. 

Immortan Joe

Amidst the ensuing power struggle between Immortan Joe and Dementus, Furiosa faces numerous trials, gradually crafting her escape back to her origins. This fragmented storytelling, however, leads to a somewhat uneven pace, jumping between key moments in Furiosa’s life without always smoothly bridging the gaps. 

Unlike its predecessor which was filmed in the ancient Namib Desert and praised for its breathtaking authenticity (despite ecological concerns that were later dismissed), Furiosa opts for the familiar terrains of New South Wales, Australia, leaning heavily on CGI rather than the practical effects of Fury Road. This shift marks a departure from the organic melding of real-world action and digital artistry that defined Fury Road, tilting towards a reliance on digital effects that sometimes overshadow the natural beauty of the sets, creating a CGI-infused experience that may not resonate with all viewers.

Despite these narrative and CGI hiccups, Furiosa does not falter visually as a whole. The cinematography is still a feast for the eyes, with each frame meticulously crafted to capture the desolate beauty of the Wasteland. From the detailed costumes and makeup to the mechanical marvels of bikes and trucks, the film’s aesthetic faithfully recreates the rugged charm of the Mad Max universe. Action sequences, particularly a War Rig chase, are executed with a raw intensity that is both thrilling and nostalgically reminiscent of the franchise’s roots. Furiosa invites viewers into a whirlwind of adrenaline-pumping pursuits across the desert, ensuring that, while it may deviate from its predecessor’s path, it still delivers a spectacle of chaos and vehicular warfare that fans have come to cherish.


Anya Taylor-Joy takes up the mantle from Charlize Theron in a portrayal of Imperator Furiosa that demands attention. While it is somewhat regrettable that Miller chose a timeline where Theron could not reprise her iconic role that she helped create, Taylor-Joy brings her unique intensity to the character. She dives headfirst into the Wasteland, delivering a powerful, nuanced portrayal with surprisingly limited dialogue. Her emotional journey resonates deeply, proving that words aren’t always necessary to convey raw intensity and vulnerability. Sadly, Taylor-Joy’s presence is felt only in the latter half of the film, which may disappoint those eager to witness her interpretation of the character sooner.

Before Taylor-Joy takes the reins, Alyla Browne shines as the young Furiosa, captivating audiences with her mannerisms and raw talent. Browne, who previously worked with Miller for the Three Thousand Years of Longing (2022) film, delivers a performance that seamlessly mirrors Taylor-Joy’s older Furiosa, creating a sense of continuity and depth that enriches the overall narrative. 


Chris Hemsworth sheds his godly armour and embraces the chaotic energy of the Wasteland as the villainous Dementus. In a performance that is both bold and darkly humorous, Hemsworth proves that he’s more than just the hammer-wielding hero of the MCU. Dementus is a product of his environment, a morally bankrupt warlord born from the ashes of civilisation and the Aussie hunk fully embodies this unhinged character, injecting the film with a contagious and consistently entertaining madness. 

Supporting Hemsworth is Tom Burke (Strike, The Musketeers), who plays Praetorian Jack, the initial driver of the film’s iconic War Rig, which is later assumed control by Furiosa. Burke’s Jack is portrayed as a legend within the Citadel, a figure of admiration for a young Furiosa, and his intense, stunt-heavy scenes provide some of the film’s most exhilarating moments. 


While Praetorian Jack’s presence adds depth and context to Furiosa’s relationship with Max in Fury Road, the absence of Tom Hardy’s ‘Mad’ Max himself might leave some fans longing for more, especially considering the timeline suggests his presence is already part of this chaotic world. 

All in all, Miller once again demonstrates his mastery of world-building, immersing viewers in a Wasteland that is both familiar and refreshingly new. While the extensive use of CGI may detract from the visceral realism of Fury Road, it undeniably expands the visual possibilities of this post-apocalyptic universe.


If the previously mentioned and upcoming Mad Max: The Wasteland sequel builds upon the foundation laid by Furiosa, then fans of the franchise are encouraged to tune in. After all, as Hideo Kojima said, “George Miller is my God, and the Saga that he tells is my Bible.”

And the Wasteland, where the saga is set, is far from barren, but a fertile ground for more thrilling adventures and stories to tell.



Visually stunning, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is an action-packed prequel that delves into the origins of the iconic heroine, but stumbles with uneven pacing and excessive CGI, leaving fans both thrilled and yearning for the gritty realism of its predecessor.

  • Story - 7.5/10
  • Direction - 9/10
  • Characterisation - 8/10
  • Geek Satisfaction - 9.5/10