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Laramie Movie Scope:
Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

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by Robert Roten, Film Critic
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May 31, 2024 – While the plots may not make much sense, and the landscapes are bleak and desolate, and the characters are savage, one thing you can always count on with a Mad Max movie is expansive, kinetic, imaginative action. This, the fifth Mad Max movie, has more of that.

This movie is a prequel to “Mad Max Fury Road,” and some Fury Road scenes appear during the credits to remind us how this story continues, or to whet the appetite of those who haven't seen Fury Road. This movie includes the origin story of warrior chick Imperator Furiosa (played by Anya Taylor-Joy of “Last Night in Soho” as adult Furiosa, and Alyla Browne of “True Spirit” as younger Furiosa).

Furiosa's story is mostly tragic, a fate she shares with virtually all the people in the cruel, hellish world of the Mad Max dystopia. War, or climate change, or both, seems to have turned the landscape into a barren desert, with three interrelated mini-kingdoms, Gas Town, Bullet Town, and the Citadel, which has both water and edible plants. These three communities trade with each other for needed supplies.

Furiosa was born in a remote land of plenty, like Eden, where there is abundant water and plant life. Raiders from a motorcycle gang discover this place by accident and kidnap Furiosa. The gangsters are pursued by Furiosa's mother, Mary (Charlee Fraser of “Anyone But You”) who manages to kill all the bikers who had found the secret location of her home, but Furiosa is lost to the gang.

The motorcycle gang is led by a ruthless leader, Dementus (Chris Hemsworth of the “Thor” movies) who adopts Furiosa as his own, hoping she will reveal the location of the land of plenty. Dementus is crafty and has a lust for power, but has no ability to govern. Everything he touches, dies.

Furiosa escapes to the Citadel, ruled by another ruthless leader, Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme of “Three Thousand Years of Longing”). She disguises herself as a man, hoping to avoid the covetous eyes of Immortan Joe. She is drawn to the daring “war rig” driver, Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke of “Mank”) who offers to help her escape the Citadel and return to the secret, remote, land of abundance.

The balance of power in the Wasteland is upset by Dementus who throws everything into chaos with his careless grabs for power, including the plans of Furiosa and Praetorian Jack. The character of Dementus, well played by Hemsworth, bears some resemblance to the American politician, Donald Trump.

Despite all the exciting action in this movie, it is very downbeat. It seems to me that both “Mad Max 2” (1981) and “Mad Max: Fury Road” (2015) were less downbeat than this one. This movie was originally meant to be filmed at the same time as “Fury Road,” but got stuck in development hell. Despite all that, it is a good, solid action film.

The acting by Hemsworth, Anya Taylor-Joy and Tom Burke is compelling and the screenplay does fit in nicely with the Fury Road story. In addition, several actors who appeared in “Fury Road” also appear in this film. The action scenes are up to the standard expected for a George Miller movie (Miller has directed every movie in the Mad Max series). This movie rates a B.

Click here for links to places to buy or rent this movie in digital formats, or to buy the soundtrack, posters, books, even used videos, games, electronics and lots of other stuff (no extra charges apply). I suggest you shop at least two of these places before buying anything. Prices seem to vary continuously. For more information on this film, click on this link to The Internet Movie Database. Type in the name of the movie in the search box and press enter. You will be able to find background information on the film, the actors, and links to much more information.

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Copyright © 2024 Robert Roten. All rights reserved.
Reproduced with the permission of the copyright holder.
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Robert Roten can be reached via e-mail at dalek three zero one nine at gmail dot com [Mailer button: image of letter and envelope]