A few years ago, George Miller brought summer blockbusters and fun back to the big screen with his sequel Mad Max: Fury Road. That action film not only employed some excellent performances and a killer musical score but also offered up the best stunt work known to man with extravagant practical stunts at every turn. Nine years later, Miller has sullied the franchise with his prequel film, Furiousa: A Mad Max Story, which is much worse than the similarly titled film Solo: A Star Wars Story. It deserves to fail.

It’s a wasteland of talent and filmmaking ability from some of the top actors and directors working today. If Hollywood is afraid of their own business model and its relationship with theatres, then Furiosa could be partly to blame for its incompetence in marketing, screenplay, and story in this prequel film. Mad Max: Fury Road made $380 million worldwide which is hardly a big-blockbuster tentpole film that Hollywood likes to see today. But its extreme praise, numerous awards, and stunning sales on home video warranted another chapter in the desert dystopia. However, Miller thought that telling Furiosa’s origin story would be better than continuing the tale of Mad Max and Furiosa teaming up together once again to take on otherworldly foes to keep their new garden of plants and water safe.

Instead, Miller was too busy wanting to show exactly how Furiosa lost her arm, where she came from, and how she became the badass she was in Fury Road. That sounds fine and dandy but this prequel showcases none of that. Even with Furiosa’s arm, it’s not entirely revealed onscreen but only implied and Miller kept Anya Taylor-Joy in the quiet corner for the entirety of the film. She doesn’t even show up until halfway through its 2.5-hour runtime, and even then, she has at most 10 lines of dialogue and is downgraded to longing stares and quiet sessions of angry brooding. It’s not entirely known when this character became the tough-talking violent wonder woman she was in Fury Road. This is where the story and marketing run into major issues.

This is billed as a character-centric piece on Furiosa specifically. The movie is named after her, however, the better characters and more time is spent with Dr, Dementus (Chris Hemsworth), who is the best part of the film and has the most screen time. Hemsworth hams up Dr. Dementus in the best ways possible by turning his Thor character up to a thousand with hilariously stupid quips about not knowing basic things in life or simple words and having to ask what everything means. He’s a pleasure to watch unfold his idiosyncracies on the big screen where nobody is really able to figure out if he’s on the good path or the bad one. The two right-hand men to Imortem Joe, hilariously named Erectus and Scrotus have a better story arc than the titular character of Furiosa here. Those two are written with such vigor and ferocity with the right amount of creepy that it’s difficult to forget their lot in life inside this universe. Furiosa on the other hand, quietly plots her vengeance for years and works with Imortem Joe as a means to an end which starts the Fury Road movie. There is a brief glimpse of a wonderful storyline where a guy teaches Furiosa how to drive the War Rig and survive the wasteland, but it’s short-lived and goes nowhere without any semblance of a big character sendoff.

There is one great sequence in the film that takes place about halfway through the movie with a big chase scene in the desert that mimics everything great about Fury Road. This is what the audience came to see, however, it doesn’t last long and the narrative drives right back to being a dull prequel instead of showcasing warboys witnessing each other die for Valhalla and Furiossa herself learning the tricks of the giant War Rig. Additionally, in the final moments of the movie, the script figures it all out with the Furiosa character, coming face-to-face with her nemesis and having a heart-to-heart with him. It’s a great moment that displays her readiness and preparedness for any kind of situation. Unfortunately, it’s followed by an off-screen narration that skips years ahead to the start of Fury Road.

A big part of Fury Road was its ability to display all stunts and visuals with practical effects and no CGI. The opposite takes place in this prequel film where this movie looks downright ugly and funny. The amount of wishy-washy CGI characters and stunts take its toll and make the film look like it was made in a third-rate country, only to be laughed at by everyone in the audience. How did one fall so far from the tree? Was it laziness or rushed this time around, or did nobody care to take the time and make something wonderful again? Whatever the case is, this movie is downright the ugly red-headed ginger stepchild to the perfect Fury Road. And everyone knows what they say about gingers. They have no souls – like this movie. Furiosa is so awful that Miller had to showcase the first film during the end credit sequence to remind everyone that he too made a mistake in making this garbage. Again, this deserves to fail.


Written by: Bryan Kluger

By Bryan Kluger

Former husky model, real-life Comic Book Guy, genre-bending screenwriter, nude filmmaker, hairy podcaster, pro-wrestling idiot-savant, who has a penchant for solving Rubik's Cubes and rolling candy cigarettes on unreleased bootlegs of Frank Zappa records.

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