‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ Movie Review: A Newcomer’s Perspective

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Movie Review

As a confession right up front—I had never watched a Mad Max film until now. Don’t judge me. I promise I’m now catching up on the rest of the franchise.

Stepping into Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga without much familiarity initially seemed a bit daunting (especially considering the strong opinions from my movie-loving friends). However, for me, it proved quite the opposite. Entering George Miller’s chaotic world as a rookie, I found it surprisingly accessible – and I was relieved I didn’t need a history lesson to enjoy its dusty thrills.

As the world collapses, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga tells the story of young Furiosa, who is captured from the “Green Place” by a large biker gang led by Warlord Dementus. They roam the Wasteland and encounter the Citadel, ruled by Immortan Joe. As Dementus and Joe battle for control, Furiosa faces numerous challenges while trying to find her way back home. 

Check out the trailer below.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Movie Trailer

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Movie Review: What I Did and Didn’t Like

My experience with Furiosa was pretty middle-of-the-road. I didn’t love it, but I didn’t hate it either. I think it was a fine film – and I think there’s no shortage of attributes to appreciate here. For example, Anya Taylor-Joy’s portrayal of vulnerability and repressed fury, set against an almost alien backdrop —  was painted perfectly. And Chris Hemsworth’s depiction of Dr. Dementus added an entertaining layer of humor mingled with malice, striking a fine balance rarely seen in villainous roles.

The film’s aesthetic was also a visual feast. However, the occasional jolts of questionable CGI snapped me out of the moment at numerous points, detracting from the otherwise fairly engaging movie.

The Story

Furiosa’s journey was as much a narrative ride as it was a literal one, spanning vast terrains both physically and emotionally. As a newcomer, I never felt lost. Miller’s storytelling was inclusive, providing just enough context to appreciate Furiosa’s evolution without needing context from the other films. (I’m sure having seen the other films provides a much richer experience).

While I understand the purpose of a detailed setup, several sequences felt unnecessarily prolonged. A tighter edit could have conveyed the same intensity without testing the viewer’s patience. At the end of the day, the basics of the story are universal themes that will resonate with viewers. It’s why the Mad Max films (and so many post-apocalyptic movies) have been such a success. Everyone can relate to tales of struggle, empowerment, and survival.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers

The Acting

The strength of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga lies heavily in its performances. Anya Taylor-Joy brought a nuanced depth to her role, mastering the silent storms of Furiosa’s internal battles. I have such a girl crush on this woman I can’t even describe it. She’s such a powerhouse of talent, and I’ve loved seeing her in this role compared to some of her more light-hearted roles, such as Emma in the 2020 telling of Jane Austen’s Emma.

Opposite of Taylor-Joy, Hemsworth brings such charm to his rather brutal role, which manages to humanize a monster with momentary flickers of humor and sadness. I love films that can bring this level of duality to a villain. And Hemsworth’s performance is no exception. It offers a fresh take on the archetypical bad guy, which resonated deeply (and nicely) within the film’s stark, dystopian setting.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga
Photo courtesy of Warner Brothers

Overall Thoughts

For me, jumping into the Mad Max universe through Furiosa felt less like a crash course in franchise history and more like a standalone adventure that was both welcoming and fairly entertaining. Critics and fans may weigh this film against its predecessors, but from the fresh eyes of a franchise novice, it stood stable — a gritty, unapologetic tale of resilience.

In today’s movie market landscape, which is often crowded with sequels and prequels that require homework, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga did a solid job at bringing me into something I knew nothing about. I don’t think it’s a great film, but it’s by no means a bad film, either. Whether you’re a Mad Max aficionado or a curious newcomer such as myself, there’s plenty here to grip your senses and keep you on the edge of your seat — eager for whatever road George Miller sends us down next.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga Movie Review:

Grade: B-


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