Furiosa reviews: George Miller's Fury Road prequel hailed as a spectacular epic

The Furiosa reviews coming out of the Cannes Film Festival are seriously positive. But should you go in expecting another Mad Max: Fury Road? Not exactly.

Director George Miller's latest, officially titled Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, acts as a prequel to Fury Road. The latter was acclaimed as one of the greatest action movies of all time, and won several Oscars in the process. It lays down a formidable, war rig-sized gauntlet for Furiosa to follow, and it's apparent that Miller has addressed this issue with an all-round widening of the scope, both visual and thematic.

Anya Taylor-Joy takes over from Charlize Theron in the role of the younger Furiosa, and Chris Hemsworth taps into his berserker rage as the titular character's nemesis, Dementus. Here's a flavour of the ecstatic reviews that should spur you to book your Cineworld tickets immediately (do so via the link at the end of this post).

It's less streamlined and altogether more grandiose than Fury Road

John Nugent, Empire: "It is a lot. Where Fury Road was set over a mere 36 hours, this story spans 15 years. Where Fury Road was singular, unstoppable action ecstasy, this is more episodic tension, divided into five chapters, each with cryptic titles like ‘The Pole Of Inaccessibility’.

"It is markedly different from that last film in so many ways, and yet inextricably tied to it, deepening our understanding of what Charlize Theron’s Furiosa meant when she spoke of “looking for redemption” and said that her “mother died on the third day”.

"There is, once again, an astonishing standard of stunts and visual effects sustained throughout these 148 minutes, with at least six audacious set-pieces — including a three-day chase across a desert, and a staggering airborne assault on a War Rig — that must be seen to be believed."

Robbie Collin, The Telegraph: "Furiosa, the new Mad Max film, which premiered at Cannes tonight, is cinema at its most soul-pricklingly primal. It’s the sort of film that makes you feel like the past century of Hollywood might have been a detour, and the machine has now been hauled back on course.

"Miller and his co-writer Nico Lathouris have structured their screenplay like an epic told by firelight. In place of plot, we get a run of discrete yet connected tales that feel less like a speculative sci-fi forecast than an attempt from within the film to explain how things got where they are now: storytelling as both myth and map.

"The film may handle differently to its predecessor, but it’s clearly been tuned by the same engineers. After the pared-down drag racer, here comes the juggernaut."

Lex Briscuso, IGN: "Miller’s latest film is the Wasteland seen differently – its inner workings, politics, and structures of survival filtered through the perspective of a young Furiosa, the tough-as-nails hero introduced in 2015’s Mad Max: Fury Road.

"In Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, the titular hero (Anya Taylor-Joy) is our guide on a journey home. And with Miller’s impeccable worldbuilding, sharp directorial eye, and smart casting, this masterpiece of a prequel makes us feel like we’re riding right alongside her.

"Weaving together top-notch worldbuilding, an emotionally resonant directorial eye, searing performances, sharp cinematography, and a hell-raising score, this is a remarkable hero’s journey punctuated by incredible action scenes and an utterly stunning reflection on life and love prevailing beyond the fall of civilization."


Anya Taylor-Joy's eyes say more than reams of dialogue ever could

Lou Thomas, NME: "How does director George Miller follow arguably the greatest action movie of the last decade? With Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga playing Cannes Film Festival it turns out you drop Max from everything but the title and concentrate on how Fury Road’s stand-out became the fiercest female in blockbuster cinema.

Some may argue that Taylor-Joy’s lack of dialogue – she has just 30 spoken lines – matters but acting is not just talking. Taylor-Joy’s expressive face and, crucially, eyes, do much of the heavy lifting here."

Hoai-Tran Bui, Inverse: "Anya Taylor-Joy delivers a powerhouse turn as the younger Furiosa, whose rage and thirst for vengeance has not yet been tempered by experience. Taylor-Joy’s incredibly expressive eyes — much of which her performance hinges on, due to a stretch in which Furiosa poses as a mute boy — seem to always barely hold back her emotions, whether they be grief, or fear, or pure, seething anger.

"Like Theron, Taylor-Joy lends a lethally lithe physicality to the role, one that is more tightly coiled, like a serpent about to strike. But Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa is also allowed more vulnerability, thanks to a moving romance between her and Tom Burke’s Praetorian Jack, who feels a bit like a Max Rockatansky."


Chris Hemsworth is having a blast in a rare villain's role

Hannah Strong, Little White Lies: "Hemsworth is clearly having the time of his life, and although he seems perfectly content to keep making Marvel movies forever, this is a reminder he’s quite capable of doing more than that, believable as an apocalypse desert pirate with no fucks left to give and no idea what the hell he’s doing."

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian: "Hemsworth comes very close to pinching the whole film, but Miller keeps a lid on humour as that kind of comic flex can sometimes upend it all.

"Hemsworth really is very entertaining when Dementus insists on tasting Furiosa’s desolate tears because he has heard that tears of sadness have a different flavour to tears of joy. Dabbing them on his tongue, he muses: “Sorrow is more piquant – zesty!” He pronounces it: “Pee–kwant” which somehow makes it much worse. He also, in his conceit, insists on driving a phalanx of motorbikes around like a kind of chariot."


The scope and scale of George Miller's world-building will leave you astonished

Rosie Knight, Polygon: "An epic, nearly 20-year saga likely isn’t what most people were expecting from Furiosa, but the approach allows the world to expand in pleasing ways.

"The MCU-ification of cinema means that franchise blockbusters often reveal characters, important MacGuffins, narrative loose ends, and potential sequel nods in bite-size teases that are less and less likely to lead anywhere. But with Furiosa, Miller widens the scope of the Mad Max landscape exponentially, as characters old and new blast their way onto the screen, giving clearer insight into the setting of the Wasteland, its societal hierarchies, its gasoline-fueled wars, and its steampunk-hued reality."

Matt Neglia, Next Big Picture: "On a technical level, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga still enthralls and overwhelms with some of the best action set pieces you will find in any film (the attack on the war rig by vehicles with giants fans, parachutes, paragliders is jaw-dropping).

"While there may be some increased usage of computer graphics to give Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga a slightly different feel to it than Mad Max: Fury Road (aided in no part by the change in cinematographers from John Seale to Simon Duggan), these choices are only meant to up the ante from what came before, delivering bigger set pieces with more destruction and carnage.

"If that doesn’t sound appealing to you, know that Miller’s storytelling is so captivating that the film’s shift in presentation will likely not hinder your experience of what he and his talented crew are delivering.

"From the roaring sound work to the war drums of Tom Holkenborg’s pounding score, Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a tremendous big-screen experience with so much heavy metal ingenuity on display in its production design, costumes, makeup, and props that it’s so easy to get lost in the world Miller has created."


Have those reviews got you primed to return to the Wasteland? Then click the following link to book your tickets for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. It opens on May 24th.