A Furiosa disappointment

I feel a bit let down. I consider Mad Max: Fury Road to be one of my favorite movies of all time, so of course I walked into Furiosa with unreasonably high expectation, so of course it was unlikely that it would meet them. It didn’t.

That’s unfair, though. It was still an enjoyable movie. It was just lacking the focus of Fury Road.

The first problem was that the story was too diffuse and chaotic. Fury was a frantic chase, followed by an equally frantic race back, and it covered the events of just a few days. Furiosa covered a tightly telescoped few years in the life of an angry girl/young women, and it ambled between three locations: the Citadel, Gas Town, and the Bullet Farm, and half the time I was wondering why we’re even going to these hell holes. Oh, because they had a trade agreement. George Miller should have learned from George Lucas that that is never an interesting basis for an action movie.

Anya Taylor-Joy was OK as Furiosa, but she didn’t have that steely-eyed determination that Charlize Theron portrayed so well. This Furiosa was a victim of circumstance, and was lacking that rage burning inside her. I also missed Tom Hardy’s Mad Max — he was also a victim of circumstance, but his main role was to witness the events. There was no one like Nux, to surprise you with a spectacular redemption arc. It was a game of ping pong, with Furiosa the ball, and it wasn’t particularly compelling.

You know what I really missed? The music. Fury Road had an intense score to match its hard-driving (see what I did there?) narrative. Furiosa occasionally played memorable bits of that score, but never sustained them. It was choppier, I think to match the plot, which lacked the long scenes where the heroes were driving, driving, driving across the desert while Immortan Joe’s army was madly racing after them.

So I left the theater thinking “that was nice.” I didn’t leave it feeling that it was a good thing I was walking, because I might be a danger on the road if I were driving. Furiosa didn’t inject me with the fury that the previous movie did.

It was still good. It just lacked the adrenaline cocktail I should have been served.


  1. Matt G says

    Fury Road was amazing in so many ways. I can’t remember how I found out (years after it came out) that Immortan Joe was played by the same (classically trained) actor who played the Toecutter in the original Mad Max.

  2. Larry says

    Not having seen it yet, I suspect the issue with the movie is that the producers and director took the wrong lessons from the first movie and used them to feature in this one. The driving scenes in the Fury Road used these uniquely tricked-out cars and trucks which were exciting to see but, as happens in many sequels, they double down on the metal at the expense of the characters. I’ll go see it in any case, but my expectations for it have taken a hit.

  3. bigzed says

    The consensus among my friends who saw it was that Furiosa was the Matrix: Reloaded of Mad Max films–when the first film changes how you feel about cinema in a genre, the second one being more worldbuilding-focused and a little less spectacular as a result makes it feel like more of a disappointment than it probably deserves.

  4. microraptor says

    How much practical effects did it use? Because that was one of the things I really loved about Fury Road.

  5. Walter Solomon says

    Now you can cleanse your palate with a Marvel film. We all know how much you love Marvel’s large filmography.

  6. euclide says

    There is lack of tension too, which is a classic issue with prequels. Everyone who watch Furiosa has seen Fury Road beforehand and his movie tries to fit the needed backstory : Furiosa’s hair and makeup, her arm, the convoy between the Citadel and Gas Town, her quest to return home…

    It’s the same issue that plagued the Solo movie in Starwars. It looks like trying to fill a coloring book instead of trying to tell an original story.

    Maybe it would work better for someone that has not seen Fury Road, but then, why adding the montage of Fury Road at the end of Furiosa ?

  7. says

    Furiosa was good, not great (well Hemsworth was pretty great). Fury Road rocked my world. Sat through it once, jaw dropped, then sat through it again, and THEN went outside and excitedly told all the people waiting in line that it was the best movie i had ever seen. Sure they thought i was nuts but couldn’t contain myself. On my top 20 list and i am a dyed in the wool snotty cine-o-file. Older women as HEROES??? I AM Vuvalini!

  8. starskeptic says

    Fury Road was just enough story to keep the action scenes coherent.
    Furiosa is just enough action to keep the story interesting.
    Hemsworth was ‘okay’, ATJ was amazing!
    The film did not feel anywhere near the actual runtime – can’t wait to see it again.

  9. says

    I liked the movie, but the CGI was bad. Like, noticeably awful. Stunts as small as swinging into a stone wall and hopping into a car to the largeness of intricate car chase battles felt as animated as the “live action” Lion King, but even more visibly fake. I was seriously expecting Porky Pig to pop out of a passenger seat and spray his mouth all shiny and chrome.

  10. belvederespudge says

    I enjoyed it. Fury Road is one of my desert island films and because of that, I didn’t go in expecting to feel the same impact of seeing FR the first time. How could it?

    All I wanted was for it to be cut from the same cloth as Fury Road without messing with that film, which it did handsomely. It didn’t rely on dialog to get its story across (a good thing because like its predecessor, some of it was pretty ropey), the visual design was on point (though I agree some of the CGI is oddly shitty), the action scenes were well mounted, but didn’t suffer the need to outdo its predecessor and it didn’t make the frequent prequel mistake of including plot points that undermine the antagonists from FR.

    Furiosa sneaked into the logistics department and worked her way up with the help of a sympathetic ally. Immortan Joe barely knew she was alive, hence we were mercifully spared a hackneyed “you have proven yourself a warrior, you must drive my war rig” scene. The War Boys were suicidal idiots because War Boys ARE suicidal idiots, thats what made Nux exceptional. And the film virtually ignored the battles between the gang leaders, because the squabbles of would-be warlords isn’t the story here, its about checks notes how Furiosa navigated a pit full of fuckwits to become the hero she became. It wasn’t perfect, but it was perfect in the places I wanted it to be.

    (rereads rant)….. ummm did I mention Fury Road was an all time favourite?

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