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Clankier, rustier, and louder than ever, George Miller has fired up the next instalment of Australia’s greatest franchise – the Mad Max films. Furiosa explores the back story of the eponymous wheel-woman who first took us down Fury Road back in 2015. Here she is given her own moment on the post-apocalyptic stage, far away from Max and the madness that seems to follow him relentlessly across a scorched outback.

Played by Anya Taylor-Joy (with local actress Alyla Browne ably portraying her younger self), Furiosa is introduced to us in a verdant oasis, reaching up for a ripe peach that might very well be the last one on earth. Things do not go well from here and she is quickly whisked away by demonic bikers and dumped at the feet of the mad warlord Dementus, played with violent squawk and swagger by Chris Hemsworth.

From here Furiosa has to rely on her wits, strength and drive to survive the brutal wasteland that surrounds her and perhaps someday make it back to the ‘place of abundance’ she was taken from as a child. It is Rabbit-Proof Fence, but all rabbits and fences were surely obliterated in some kind of nuclear catastrophe not long ago.

Miller has clearly enjoyed his time back in his blood and gasoline-soaked sandbox and the film is shot on a broader canvas than any other entry in the series. The bikes, trucks and hot rods are bigger, meaner, and dirtier and the costumes and sets are gnarlier and more baroque than anything we have seen before.

While the action set pieces are more sporadic than the breathless car chase that was Fury Road, they are judiciously executed here with a masterful use of scale, kinetic energy, and crunching noise.

It might sound absurd to say each entry in this series is a unique achievement but there really is nothing quite like the Mad Max films. It is probably most fitting to compare Furiosa to its predecessor but even this might be unfair, as Fury Road was a lightning bolt that not only super charged the series but shocked the film industry into seeing the raw power of the action movie when orchestrated by a bombastic visionary like Miller.

The only criticisms that can be made are relative. Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa does not have the same growling intensity as Charlize Theron’s depiction but it feels like the character’s silence in this film was a deliberate choice to highlight her rejection of such a broken civilisation. Her wide eyes do most of her talking, bearing witness to the brutality that surrounds her and imploring us to find a way prevent this world set ‘only a few years from now’.

Unfortunately for her, this place is a hoot and I think we would only be too keen go on another gloriously gruesome joyride the next time George Miller throws us the keys.

Verdict: 4 out of 5