KSL Movie Show review: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ is powerful, painful, magnificent and exhausting

May 24, 2024, 6:00 AM

ksl movie show host steve salles next to 'Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga movie poster...

Editor’s note: This is an editorial piece. An editorial, like a news article, is based on fact but also shares opinions. The opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and are not associated with our newsroom.

SALT LAKE CITY — How do you follow up a movie that was described by Rolling Stone magazine as “one of the greatest action films ever made?”

We’re talking about 2015’s “Mad Max: Fury Road” which was nominated for ten Academy Awards, won six and more importantly was voted “Best Picture” by the Utah Film Critics Association.

So nine years later, we have this prequel on the origins of one of Fury Road’s main characters, Furiosa, then played by Charlize Theron, now played by Alyla Browne (younger) and later by Anya Taylor-Joy.

And by later I mean it’s almost an hour into this new movie before Taylor-Joy makes an appearance.

That’s not a complaint, since Alyla Browne is terrific as young Furiosa.

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As a young girl, Furiosa lives with her mom Mary (Charlee Fraser) and sister in the Green Place of Many Mothers, a far-away secluded area with an abundance of food and water that they would really prefer to keep secret.

However, some gruff bikers have discovered it. Furiosa tries to sabotage their bikes but is herself captured and whisked away by these creepy nomads.

An alarm is sounded.

Mother Mary (not that one) jumps into action. She must not only retrieve her daughter but take out the bikers (as in dead), so they can’t reveal the Location of Abundance to their Biker Horde clan led by Warlord Dementus (Chris Hemsworth).

Mary is relentless in her pursuit. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that she has mad sniper skills and knows her way around a motorcycle.

But eventually, she puts herself in harm’s way to save Furiosa, making her daughter promise that whatever happens, she must find her way back home.

This is the first moment you’ll be able to catch your breath as the movie can now begin in earnest. At this point, I knew we were in for quite a wild ride.

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From here on out, director George Miller pulls out all the stops to make an even more outrageous action epic with great vistas, expansive sets, compelling action, cringing violence and impactful characters.

I was actually more moved by this film than the previous one. And Miller has plans for at least one more.

But know this going in: This is one gruesome world we’re being pulled into. It is not for the squeamish or faint of heart.

It is powerful, painful, magnificent and exhausting — but never boring.

“Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga” is by no means a cash grab. It intends to exceed what we’ve seen before, taking us to new heights and greater challenges.

“FURIOSA: A MAD MAX SAGA” (A) Rated R for sequences of strong violence and grisly images. Starring Anya Taylor-Joy, Chris Hemsworth, Alyla Browne, Tom Burke, Charlee Fraser and Lacey Hulme. Co-written and directed by George Miller (“Happy Feet” “Mad Max: Fury Road”) – filmed in New South Wales, Australia. 148 minutes.

The KSL Movie Show with Andy Farnsworth and Steve Salles airs Fridays on KSL NewsRadio from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Follow the show on Facebook, and join The KSL Movie Show Club for exclusive perks by texting MOVIE to 57500.

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KSL Movie Show review: ‘Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga’ is powerful, painful, magnificent and exhausting