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Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga review: why it doesn't matter that Anya Taylor-Joy hardly speaks in new movie

Here’s what we thought of the new movie directed by George Miller

Emmy Griffiths
TV & Film Editor
May 17, 2024
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I’m sorry if this offends all of the franchise’s many, many fans, but I’ve never really ‘got’ the Mad Max movies. Maybe it’s because I’m just not that into action movies. Or maybe I don’t like watching dystopias where I know deep down that I wouldn’t last an hour. I mean, I can barely parallel park. 

But George Miller’s new triumph Furiosa has changed all that. Here is why I loved Anya Taylor-Joy’s turn at playing the brave and fierce Furiosa… 

WATCH: Anya Taylor-joy Shines At Cannes Red Carpet Premiere Of Furiosa A Mad Max Saga Original Video M252614

As a member of the somewhat uninitiated when it comes to the Mad Max universe, the set-up quickly established the devastation and fury of Furiosa’s destroyed childhood. 

Tom stars in the new movie© JASIN BOLAND
Tom stars in the new movie

Living in a glorious land full of abundance, but kept as a hidden secret from the rest of the world, Furiosa is kidnapped by members of a bike gang who stumble across the magical place, and left with the monumental task of somehow one day finding her way back home, despite now being a bargaining chip for warlords including Chris Hemsworth’s maniacal Dementus, who makes Immortan Joe looks like a friendly neighbourhood villain. 

Chris Hemsworth also stars© Courtesy of Warner Bros. Picture
Chris Hemsworth also stars

Anya Taylor-Joy's star turn

I was completely taken with Anya’s performance - as well as the portrayal of a young Furiosa by Alyla Browne - because the character’s origin story is one so devastating that, although Anya only has around 30 lines of dialogue in the two-hour-30-minute saga, her misery and anger is deeply felt through her eyes alone - which never once seemed to not be filled with tears of rage. 

Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa© Jasin Boland
Anya Taylor-Joy as Furiosa

Anya has said herself that she found the filming experience of the blockbuster difficult - and I’m not surprised. Speaking to The New York Times, she said: “I’ve never been more alone than making that movie. I don’t want to go too deep into it, but everything that I thought was going to be easy was hard.”

Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth in Sydney© Brendon Thorne
Anya Taylor-Joy and Chris Hemsworth pose during the media call for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

She later told Deadline: “[Furiosa is] a character that’s very much in her head and she’s very, very quiet, so it felt everything around me that pushed that sense of isolation… To be fair, I think it’s truthful to the character and I did get into this experience to be pushed. So, I think there’s an element that thrilled me.” Her journey in the movie is a bleak one - but also one filled with hope. And cars. So many cars. 

The highs and lows

The cinematography and sound editing will not disappoint, as the violent world is practically tangible. At times Furiosa struggles with pacing and takes a while to get into the main rhythm of the tale, but it is never boring. For saying I’m not the biggest action fan, there is an action sequence in here so incredible and well done, with the two major players never being more than seconds from death at any given moment, that I watched through my hands, watching for tragedy to fall at any given second. The sequence took 77 days to shoot - and is a stand-out in an already incredibly impressive film. 

Anya Taylor-Joy attends  the Australian premiere of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga© Don Arnold
Anya Taylor-Joy attends the Australian premiere of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga

A Mad Max sequel? 

 And it sounds like this won’t be the last of the instalments. 

I attended the Furiosa press conference at Cannes with the cast as well as director George Miller, who said he thought there were plenty more journeys to explore in the universe. He said: “There’s certainly more stories there… Maybe because to tell the story of Fury Road, we needed to know about Furiosa and Max in the years before. I’ll definitely see how this goes!” 

You know what George? If you do make another, I promise I’ll be watching. 

HELLO! goes to Cannes Film Festival

General view of photographers during the closing ceremony red carpet for the 75th annual Cannes film festival © Edward Berthelot
Join us in Cannes!

HELLO! is heading to Cannes Film Festival this year to be on the ground for Europe's most glamorous, lavish and exciting movie event - and we will be sharing it all with you! Our TV and Film Editor Emmy Griffiths alongside reporter Isabelle Casey are on the ground to bring you the biggest moments from the week - what what's the plan, Cannes? You can catch up with us via our day-to-day video diaries posted on HELLO!'s YouTube channel. 

You can also join us on TikTok Live, Instagram Stories and our daily diary here on À bientôt!

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