A little more on Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024)

Way, waaaayyyy back in 1981 I was in High School and the movie The Road Warrior appeared in theaters. This movie, better known around the world as Mad Max 2, genuinely rocked my world.

I freaking loved it.

The action was intense, the stunt work mindbogglingly good -and scary! The climax had me on the edge of my seat.

The film was very low budget but not quite as low budget as the original Mad Max, which I would find and see later on. The film helped put Mel Gibson on Hollywood’s radar and he would soon after appear in Lethal Weapon and was well on his way to becoming a Hollywood superstar… before, of course, everything went bad.

When Mad Max: Fury Road appeared, I was very much there to see it and loved it… even if I felt Tom Hardy was somewhat miscast in the Max role. It just felt like the character was written as an older Max, which would have fit well with Mel Gibson’s age at the time the film was being made.

Still, this wasn’t a fatal problem and I enjoyed the film… even as I feel The Road Warrior remains my favorite Mad Max film.

Fast forward to the news of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga and I was certainly curious but, I have to admit, I wasn’t dying to see it.

Yesterday I wrote about how Furiosa is seriously underperforming/bombing at the box office and offered some ideas as to why this might be. Truthfully, I feel there has been a shift away from the movie going experience and I genuinely wonder if this shift might prove permanent in spite of movies here and there succeeding.

But after posting, I wondered why I, a fan of the Mad Max films (generally!) wasn’t feeling all that crazy about going to see Furiosa myself.

Granted, I’m at a point in my life that it’s tough to carve out time to go see a film. I could do so, mind you, but I have other things I’m focused on. Truthfully, I don’t see television as much as before either.

Regardless, I was curiously unenthused to go see Furiosa and, rather than focus on why others may not have wanted to go see the film, I wondered why to me it didn’t feel like a “must watch”.

Let me start with the advertisements/trailers. They didn’t do all that much for me, frankly. They sure did look like director George Miller was repeating himself. The “look” of the film was almost the same as that of Fury Road only more CGIed… which was a turnoff.

I know, I know: What did I expect from a film that was supposed to be a prequel to Fury Road? Things couldn’t be radically different looking, could they?

I suppose not but still… it didn’t feel like there was anything terribly new to see in this new film. Certainly nothing we hadn’t seen in the last.

Then there was the issue of the story being a “prequel”. Somewhere deep in my mind this too was a turnoff. Did I really want to see how Furiosa came to be what she was in Fury Road?

As someone who has written a novel series that bounces around in time, I wanted to make sure any/all of the novels offered a unique and new experience.

In the case of Furiosa, there’s not much “there” there with regard to her story. I figured we’d see how she lost her arm and became a valuable driver. I figured we’d find the paradise she was stripped from and wanted to get back to in Fury Road.

But, again, was that enough to justify a full 2 hour and thirty minute long film?

It seemed a little much, frankly.

Here’s the thing about writing stories: Authors fall in love with their works. Given the amount of time it usually takes to write a story one is satisfied with, one has to love one’s works.

However one also has to be cold about the process. One should second guess what they’re doing constantly. Does this work? Does this not?

You can’t just type away -a form of verbal diarrhea- and expect everything will work.

When I write, I tend to be very cold about my works. I tend to cut things out and, yes, there have been passages I’ve loved which were eventually deemed unnecessary and were stripped away and likely will never be seen.

I fear that Furiosa is one of those fancy concepts that, as Miller was coming up with the idea of Fury Road, he came up with the back story for Furiosa and so loved it he wanted to bring it to life.

The problem was that as good as these back story concepts were, Fury Road was successful -indeed terrific!– without the need to delve into all that minutia.

Hell, Max’s “origin” is presented in Fury Road in a crisp thirty or so second fever dream and we don’t really need to see much more.

Was it really necessary to give so much time to Furiosa?

I will eventually see the film. Hopefully, I’ll find myself on the side of those who felt the film was damn good.

Still, I wish George Miller pushed the story forward and gave us something set further in the future of Fury Road rather than looking back.