Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is a rip-roaring and action-packed picture that’s dense with spectacle despite running a robust 2 hours and 28 minutes in length. Over that time we experience a series of key moments in the life of Furiosa (Anya Taylor-Joy), most of which involve violent run-ins with a warlord called Dementus (Chris Hemsworth). Dementus is the reason why, at the beginning of the film, Furiosa has to leave the place of abundance she was born to, and she took that personally.

There are very, very light spoilers for Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga ahead.

But after two hours of action, the film slows down for its climax–Furiosa’s final encounter with Dementus is not another epic, over-the-top sequence, but instead they have a bit of a heart-to-heart for this final stage of their decades-long war of wills.

It’s an interesting curveball from writer/director George Miller, who has served in that capacity since the very beginning of the Mad Max franchise. I asked Miller about the decision to go that route instead of having a more standard big action finale, and he says there’s two main reasons that climax works: because it avoids a lot of screenwriting tropes this way; and because Chris Hemsworth, who gets nearly all the dialogue in these scene, simply made it work.

“That’s where the story and the characters took us. It’s all driven by the story and the characters,” Miller said. “You can’t say, ‘Gee, it’d be cool if we had a big action sequence to go out with,’ Or it would be cool if we did the opposite. This is where the characters take you, otherwise it becomes very tropey. And I think that happens a lot.”

But just because it was written that way didn’t mean it would necessarily work, even with a pair of actors like Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy anchoring the scene.

“It’s like if you’re in some team playoff, and you can’t guarantee that that guy is going to hit that basket, or that guy’s got to do that move with a football or soccer ball or whatever it’s going to be, there’s no guarantee they’re gonna do it. But something essential comes out of, or some essence comes out of the character, or the athlete,” Miller said. “And that’s exactly what it is in a character. You don’t know. There’s no predictability. You try, you hope the plans go well, but the plans always shift.”

And the plans certainly shifted for Miller and Furiosa–he co-wrote the screenplay for this film before he made Fury Road, but numerous delays affected both films. So while they’d always kinda planned for this sort of climactic scene, Miller says Hemsworth brought it all together.

“That’s something we wrote with the characters–and then you had Chris come along. And he’s the complete article, as they say, very, very hardworking, and has a really strong sense of story and character. And he just built that character,” Miller said.

“And then, when you get to that scene, the key to scenes like that is, are the two characters worthy of each other, as he says, and, and you hope they stick the landing. But that just comes out of when you get the material together, and then the actors as individuals, and the actors in combination, do the work and it arises out of them. There’s no predictability.”

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is in movie theaters now.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *