'Furiosa' review: Anya Taylor-Joy's got grit 2
 Anya Taylor-Joy in 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga.' 2024 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. 
Culture

'Furiosa' review: Anya Taylor-Joy's got grit

She only had a few lines to say but Anya Taylor-Joy convinced us that she could totally grow up to be Charlize Theron's Furiosa.
Fred Hawson | May 24 2024

In her effort to keep a group of bikers away from the Green Place of Many Mothers, child Furiosa (Alyla Browne) was taken captive. The leader of the Biker Horde, Dementus (Chris Hemsworth), brought her to the Citadel where he negotiated a trade with Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme) and his foolish sons Rictus Erectus (Nathan Jones) and Scabrous Scrotus (Josh Helman). Joe gained possession of Furiosa as part of their deal.  

One day, teen Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy) saw her chance to escape from the Citadel and find her way back home. She stowed away under the trailer truck driven by Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke). However, the Biker Horde hounded them across the Wasteland, all the way to two fortresses Gas Town and Bullet Farm. When Dementus himself caught up with her, Furiosa was captured and chained her left arm over her head.  

The last Mad Max film "Fury Road" was so good and so memorable, it was amazing to think that this was released in May 2015. With close-cropped hair and one prosthetic arm, Furiosa, played with grit and verve by Charlize Theron, had such a powerful screen presence, even outshining Mad Max (Tom Hardy) himself. We already knew back then that she was abducted as a child, but this prequel fleshed that story out, and then some.

Anya Taylor-Joy only showed up as the teenage Furiosa in the second hour already. Those viewers who only knew her from her breakout role as a chess prodigy in Netflix series "The Queen's Gambit" (2020) will be surprised to see her in a rough, dirty, brutal pure action role like this, and she only had a few lines to say. However, she convinced us that her Furiosa could totally grow up to be Theron's Furiosa.

Chris Hemsworth played a formidable antagonist Dementus. Only he could pull off driving that monster truck with giant wheels. However, Hemsworth carried with him a lot of his star power, goodwill and sense of humor, so he did not really come off as pure evil (even if Dementus was). The scenes of Tom Burke's Praetorius Jack with Taylor-Joy were stoic but strong, action-packed, yet with emotional connection.  

Director George Miller really knows his Australian Wasteland milieu very well and he knew how to get both the beauty and the harshness of this extreme environment. Several "Fury Road" crew were back, like film editor Margaret Sixel, production designer Colin Gibson, composer Tom Holkenborg, sound Ben Osmo, costumes Jenny Beavan and makeup Lesley Vanderwalt. The look and sound of "Furiosa" was very familiar, yet with their own unique points of chaotic excellence. 

This review was originally published in the author's blog, "Fred Said."