Film review: Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga ‘Expect to be gripped’


Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

Four stars

Reviewed by John Nathan

In an attempt to put some distance between himself and the Marvel universe Chris Hemsworth has ditched the charm and charisma of his Thor. Sure the muscles are still there, but the long hair is greying rather than golden and the personality – where to start?

We know from the real world that people caught up in war often led normal not say banal existences in peacetime. Well, Hemsworth’s warlord Dementus might have been an insurance salesman. At least the last time I heard the kind of cod-philosophising with which his Dr D likes to accompany his acts of sadism was when I was the captive audience of a broker whose price included observations on the pitiless nature of existence. Buying was the only way to escape the sermonising.

And so it is that the unexpected achilles heel of director George Miller’s equally speed-machine obsessed prequel to his previous Mad Max epic which starred Charlize Theron and Tom Hardy is that unlike those stars Hemsworth’s character is not the kind of company with which you want to spend much of this movie’s two and half hours.

He is at least as annoying as he is frightening. However, Anya Taylor-Role in the title role is superb. The plot much of which is played out on the open road is a route-one affair in which Furiosa must escape the petrol-head hoards who populate Australia’s post-apocalyptic desert if she is to return to the civilised eden of her childhood.

In the meantime her captor Dementus attempts to increase his empire by conquering the oil-rich Gastown and the high altitude Citadel which can grow potatoes.

Desert landscapes have not been so gorgeously photographed since, well, the second part of Dune which came out a couple of months ago. Golden sand and roaring engines dominate the senses, a majesty brought low by such meatheads as brothers Scrotus and Rectus, the sons of one of the many masked barbarians. Don’t expect to be elevated. Do expect to be gripped.

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