Entertainment and Arts

Strap in for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

By: Russ Matthews

Few franchises have spanned four decades and seem to improve as they age.

Yet, George Miller’s Mad Max series has climbed from cult classic to cinematic triumph since the former police officer turned road warrior exploded into cinemas worldwide and eventually journeyed down Fury Road. The unprecedented Australian hit went dormant after the Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome in 1985, then detonated with an unforgettable bang 30 years later. Mad Max: Fury Road reignited audiences’ passion for this post-apocalyptic world and introduced us to Furiosa (Charlize Theron).

Instead of speeding forward into the future of this new action hero, the visionary director decided to take audiences back to his one-armed heroin’s origins. As a child, Furiosa (Alyla Browne) is abducted from the Green Place of Many Mothers and handed over to the warlord Demetus (Chris Hemsworth). As she grows up under the watchful eye of the vicious and depraved leader, his tribe finds itself at war with the Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) and his war boys. During this power struggle between the warlords, Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) finds herself working alongside Joe’s forces and eventually comes under the tutelage of tanker driver Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke.) As the war increases between the multiple factions in this dystopian wasteland, the young warrior does all she can to break free from her different captors to find her way back to her homeland.

All who were concerned about Anya Taylor-Joy filling the shoes left by Charlize Theron need not be worried. George Miller has honoured Furiosa’s past and set the stage for a potentially exciting future. This younger version of his powerful female lead is countered by the equally over-the-top personality of Chris Hemsworth, adding a villainous edge that epitomises this franchise. This combination of talents and action makes for a deliciously satisfying story that opens the door to more unapologetic, apocalyptic fun for all who have embraced this maddening tale over the years.

Albeit a bit longer and more methodical than its predecessor, this chapter adequately sets the stage for this franchise to continue on down the road. Even though Taylor Joy only shows up halfway through the film, and her younger persona, Alyla Browne, carries the movie through to her young adult years with convincing confidence. Miller proves that he has a knack for finding the right talent to express his vision; this film is no different.

Still, the actors are a small part of what drives this storyline forward. Especially since Taylor-Joy has very little dialogue once she comes on screen. Ultimately, it’s the cars, action, and visual effects that draw audiences back into the familiar chase scenes across the deserts of the Australian outback. Beyond the battles, oil, and souped-up vehicles, Miller adds in more to this narrative that can slow the pace at times. Still, each component is necessary for the sake of making Furiosa into the warrior she will become. As each gear shifts into overdrive and more vehicles explode across the desolate red sands, the celebrated filmmaker finds the next level of intensity to satisfy the insatiable yearning from viewers for this world as it blasts onto screens. Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga taps into the rekindled magic of Fury Road by drilling deeper into this world to find character-developing gold. All the while introducing the world to a new side to the legend that will inevitably leave them wanting more of this mad-capped world developed by George Miller.

Reel Dialogue: Is there any hope for this world?Furiosa movie image 1200 x 628 (1)

The Mad Max Saga is one built into a post-apocalyptic world that can be seen as utterly hopeless and depressing. Yet, films of this ilk can get someone to consider is is there any hope for this world or for our lives? The final stand-off between the lead characters exposes the world to our need for hope in a world that has seemingly gone mad. Books, films, and religions all try to answer this question of personal and world peace that plagues most people at some point in their lives.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga puts a magnifying glass on how our world is broken. George Miller’s dystopian tale is like seeing an object lesson in the depravity of creation. So, what is God doing about this mess? It is a monumental question that can be answered in the person of Jesus. Not that it is a simple answer, but not until you look into his life and death will the answer be evident. Pick up one of the accounts of his life and see how God answers this multi-layered query with one man. This is the best place to start if you are searching for hope in this life. A great place to begin in the book of Luke in the New Testament.

Psalm 31:24 – Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all you that hope in the LORD.

Reach out to us at Third Space to discuss how you can find real hope in this world and the future.


Article supplied with thanks to City Bible Forum.

All images: Movie stills

About the author: Russ Matthews is a film critic at City Bible Forum and Reel Dialogue. He has a passion for film and sparking spiritual conversations.

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