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Furiosa is an epic spectacle worthy of an epic franchise 

George Miller (all the Mad Max movies, The Witches of Eastwick, Happy Feet) directs this new installment in the Mad Max franchise, a sequel to Mad Max: Fury Road (2015), which told the story of the female warrior Furiosa, who rebels against her masters, freeing a group of female breeding captives. This is her origin story, with Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa. (122 min.)

click to enlarge THE DARKEST OF ANGELS Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Furiosa, who's kidnapped as a child but survives to exact her revenge, in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, screening in local theaters. - PHOTO COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.
  • Photo Courtesy Of Warner Bros.
  • THE DARKEST OF ANGELS Anya Taylor-Joy stars as Furiosa, who's kidnapped as a child but survives to exact her revenge, in Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga, screening in local theaters.
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Glen Apparently when creating Fury Road, Miller wrote backstories for his characters, and Furiosa's became the basis for this epic adventure that begins with a young Furiosa (Alyla Browne) and her sister, Valkyrie (Dylan Adonis), out picking peaches near their home, the Green Place of Many Mothers, when she comes across a gang of motorcycle-riding raiders, As she attempts to sabotage the bikes, she's abducted as a prize for their warlord, Dementus (Chris Hemsworth with a somewhat distracting prosthetic nose), setting in motion an absolutely spellbinding, immersive, and gorgeously filmed chase sequence as Furiosa's mother, Mary (Charlee Fraser), pursues. What follows is Furiosa's part in the internecine struggles between Dementus, who seeks absolute power over the wasteland, and Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), who runs the Citadel and holds onto power with his fanatic War Boys. It's truly epic!

Anna Fury Road was a feast for the eyes, and Charlese Theron absolutely slayed as Furiosa, so I was excited to see how they would shape the younger warrior and what we would learn about the badass to come. Turns out, Furiosa was a badass all along. While Taylor-Joy may be on all the movie posters, I have to give my highest praise to Browne who plays young Furiosa. She's a compelling young actor whose gaze holds the audience captive. The chase you mentioned between Furiosa's captors and her mother was so good—what I loved most was watching her mother's methodical pursuit, a true game of cat and mouse. Big action flicks and post-apocalyptic settings aren't generally my thing, but the Mad Max franchise has done well at drawing me in, at least with both Fury Road and Furiosa.

Glen Taylor-Joy turned in a fierce performance. She vibrates with anger and Furiosa's thirst for revenge. Hemsworth is comically diabolical as Dementus. There's an early scene when he wipes away a young Furiosa's tear, musing about the difference in flavor between tears of joy and sorrow, identifying the latter as more "piquant." A film this dark and hellish shouldn't be this beautiful, but it's amazingly so. Though I felt most moved by the first third, the film never stops being astonishing visually. And if you like crazy custom vehicles, from Dementus' three-motorcycle chariot to the souped-up Plymouth Valiant Furiosa tries to escape in, not to mention the monster War Rig, this is motorhead heaven. According to IMDb.com, Miller's in production with another installment, Mad Max: The Wasteland. Count me in.

Anna Great performances all around, for sure. We watch as Hemsworth develops from a white parachute cape-wearing overlord, to a power-hungry destroyer who has cloaked himself in red, to his final form of a grayed menace who's lost to the blackness of what years of being a tyrant will do to a man. Even non-motorheads like me can have fun gazing at the absolutely bonkers machines that Miller's imagination has created. It's rare that a franchise of this nature will have me wanting more, but I'm definitely down to see The Wasteland. Like you said, these films are just beautiful in their way—from the machines to the factions of survivors to the heroes and villains that live within this world, it's all a recipe that works. If you have any interest, see this one in the theater! Δ

Senior Staff Writer Glen Starkey and freelancer Anna Starkey write Split Screen. Comment at [email protected].

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