Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is hitting theaters and it’s getting rave reviews, with some reviews even going so far as to suggest it might be even better than the incomparable Mad Max: Fury Road. While that’s not the majority consensus, it bodes well for Furiosa that it’s being well-received, especially since follow-ups to huge hits – especially if those follow-ups are prequels – are often hit-or-miss with audiences. Still, director George Miller saw enough in the character of Charlize Theron’s Furiosa that he felt there was a great prequel story in there.

The movie tells the story of Furiosa, now played by Anya Taylor-Joy, and how she was driven from the Green Place that she tried to get back to in Fury Road. When Furiosa is a young girl, she’s snatched away from her mother and taken from the idyllic Green Place of Many Mothers by the warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). The horde eventually reaches the Citadel and clash with Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme). As Dementus and Immortan Joe fight for dominance and control of the region, Furiosa’s resolve hardens and her thirst for revenge grows.

It seems Miller’s instincts about the character of Furiosa were right, as critics have had high praise for her story. Here’s what they’re saying.

Metro UK:

“Warner Bros is willing the movie to be a hit, and it has a lot to live up to as the fifth Mad Max movie and follow-up to 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road, which netted six Oscars out of an impressive ten nominations – alongside a healthy box office performance.

Luckily, Furiosa delivers all the pulse-pounding action and adventure hoped for, given extra edge by its stellar cast, led by Anya Taylor-Joy.”

Tribune News Service:

“This is another sprawling-tale of gas-guzzling automotive-based mayhem, where warring tribes in the desert Wasteland worship at the altars of cars and motorcycles and spill blood over gas and bullets. But “Furiosa” is a bigger movie than “Fury Road,” taking place over the course of many years, not just a couple of days. If “Fury Road” was a snapshot that suggested a whole world of lore, “Furiosa” is an epic poem, with Miller and co-writer Nico Lauthouris structuring this saga into chapters.”

Paste Magazine:

“Reducing Furiosa down to a single word does it as little justice as it does the sagas it scraps, welds and reuses like its countless Frankenstein vehicles. But understanding George Miller’s Fury Road prequel as the story of war—of sprawling futility, driven by the same cyclical cruelty that turned its deserts into Wastelands—makes it far more than a satisfying origin story. (Though, it’s that too). Furiosa speaks the language of epics fluently, raging against timeless human failure while carrying a seed of hope.”

It’s Better In The Dark::

Fury Road was a relentless onslaught of escalating and outlandish action. This can’t reach those heights; it’s probably wise that it takes another path. At close to two and a half hours, it’s an epic striving for a different kind of overload. If it doesn’t fully succeed, it still goes hard enough to skid over the line.”

We Live Entertainment:

“Could a prequel successfully rise out of such a tall shadow? The answer is yes. Having already developed this story in preparation for his fourth Mad Max film, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is of a piece with its chronological successor, yet a different sort of beast. It may trade in the straightforward, economical storytelling that made for an incredible chase film, but Furiosa still maintains Miller’s innovative approach to action, a fully realized take on a post-apocalyptic wasteland, and his punk rock attitude toward filmmaking. This movie delivers another opportunity to witness a creative madman at the height of his powers.”

Ultimately, the general consensus can be summed up by Entertainment Weekly:

“At this point, it should be clear that Furiosa does not quite measure up to Fury Road — but what does? Miller’s 2015 film now clearly stands as one of the singular cinematic achievements of the 21st century, its simple structure (a cast of characters who drive in a straight line and then turn around and go back the way they came) overlaid with powerful political resonance and some of the most complicated and rewarding action scenes ever committed to screen. Furiosa can’t possibly be as mind-blowing as its predecessor, but it does allow us to spend a little more time in this world and Miller’s mind. No other working action filmmaker sees the world the way he does. 

Furiosa has car chases and biker hordes and flaming death, but almost more impressive are the small moments of beauty that you won’t find anywhere else.”

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