Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga movie review (2024)

Miller is so assured at reading an audience, he even crafts an elongated chase that sees Furiosa driving across the wasteland with Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke) on an oil run that gives Taylor-Joy and the character the perfect entrance: a hard-push in for a worthy close-up. Though Burke is on screen for a relatively short time, he and Taylor-Joy build quick chemistry as two lost souls who believe that paradise still exists somewhere in the world if they follow the map of stars tattooed on Furiosa’s forearm. 

If it feels like Hemsworth is an also-ran, he isn’t. Which is odd to say because he is saddled with a terrible wig and an obtrusive prosthetic nose, and even disappears for long stretches. Still, whenever he does show up, he might be the best part of “Furiosa.” He doesn’t just get the best, more instantly quotable lines. He has never been more physically commanding, first as a poised messiah and swindler, then as a blow-hard politician, then as an emperor with no clothes on. The combination of Dementus’ wit, callousness, and cold calculations is a persona Hemsworth has worked on for some time and it all comes together here for an unforgettable villain turn.  

I can certainly nitpick about what elements I prefer in “Fury Road” as opposed to “Furiosa.” There’s far more VFX in the latter, causing me to miss some of the thrills Miller inspired with his unflinching use of practical effect. I also think that “Fury Road” acts on a subtler thematic level, which is saying something, because the visual language in that film—for as immaculate as the craftsmanship is—basically bashes you over the head. “Furiosa” goes one step further; every line of dialogue flags the metaphorical importance of every scene. And yet, it’s easy to ignore these tiny grievances not only because you’re left marveling at the big swing Miller is taking, but also because his interest in this world, these characters, and this type of big, bold storytelling is so infectious. There’s also a character named piss boy, so this really is a movie with something for everyone.