“Furiosa” is a wild, thrilling ride

Published 11:34 am Tuesday, July 9, 2024

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Storming the screen this week at The Tryon Theatre is “Furiosa,” a prequel to the celebrated 2015 film “Mad Max: Fury Road. ”

Like all films in the “Mad Max” franchise, “Furiosa” is written and directed by the visionary and grandly imaginative mind of George Miller. Miller’s post-apocalyptic vision of the world is a desert dystopia, The Wasteland—a world governed by iron fists and fueled by gasoline, with the worst of humanity’s animalism on full and exaggerated display. This is a world far removed from our own, informed by mythologies and customs of a cultish obsession with vehicles and violence, where human life has little value and the power of legacy is all. 

The eponymous Furiosa made her character’s debut in “Fury Road,” brought to life by the tremendously talented Charlize Theron. This film tracks the rise of Furiosa from her humble origins to her cemented status as one of The Wasteland’s most capable and dangerous figures, a legend in her own right. In this film, the mantle of Furiosa is assumed by the rising talent Anya Taylor-Joy, whose alien-esque beauty is perfectly suited for the mutated and bizarre world of The Wasteland. Joining Taylor-Joy as the film’s secondary lead is Chris Hemsworth, playing a role against his heroic type-casting as a crazed and hulking leader of this desert chaos. 

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Hemsworth’s immense and powerful frame is well suited for his strongman character, but more compelling than his physicality is the manic and dangerous insanity he injects into his scenes and lines, a true delight to watch. 

Both because of, and despite, its violence and creative insanity, this film is fun, a true thrill ride. It is also a hyper-stylized film, one in which the commitment to aesthetics and cinematography are paramount. And as with any film of that nature, it can polarize potential viewers. Those who enjoy a sense of cinematic spectacle and have a stomach for the weird will enjoy this film (as any other “Mad Max” title) even more. However, those for whom such artistic conventions are not preferred, The Wasteland and its mad inhabitants may prove themselves a visually overwhelming feat. 

I do not speak of these qualities to deter viewership, as we at The Tryon Theatre are always encouraging of people taking risks and treading new territory in their filmic consumption. On the other side of the spectrum, for those viewers already fans of the franchise, this film is no departure from the compelling and creative freneticism of Miller’s world. “Furiosa” is a worthy and powerful addition to that mythos. Above all else, “Furiosa” is a testament to the transportative quality of cinema, wherein a viewer can find themselves immersed in a fully realized and conceived world. Miller’s vision is a love letter to the artform itself, a form designed to capture movement and kineticism, to preserve the impermanence of action on screen. 

We hope you will join us for this wild ride!