Chris Hemsworth Steals The Show In Brutal Epic Furiosa

By Michileen Martin | Published

chris hemsworth furiosa

I genuinely never the thought I would find myself applying the phrase “steals the show” to Chris Hemsworth–certainly not in relation to anything outside the MCU–but the Aussie’s portrayal of the mad villain Dementus is the best reason to see Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga. Anya Taylor-Joy is perfect as the titular warrior woman and there are other standout performances, but Hemsworth is a captivating, dark joy from beginning to end.

Furiosa’s Kidnapping

Furiosa opens in the temporary paradise we came to know as “The Green Place” in Mad Max: Fury Road, where a young but already formidable Furiosa (Alyla Browne) is kidnapped by the followers of Chris Hemsworth’s villain–hoping the girl will prove the existence of the Green Place, and so win them whatever reward Dementus is willing to spare.

Right away, Chris Hemsworth’s bad guy is tough to hate. When we meet him he is as serene as we will ever experience him, draped in a white sheet and listening to a lesson from the ancient History Man (George Shevstov). His orders save Furiosa from the rage of his followers, and even though you know he’s trying to manipulate the girl, his lies are laced with sincerity.

Even after Dementus murders Furiosa’s courageous mother (Charlee Fraser) and makes the girl a permanent hostage, the villain’s theatrical savagery is interrupted with moments of tenderness toward the girl who he sees as a replacement for his dead daughter.

A Bird’s Eye View Of The Wasteland

chris hemsworth furiosa

To any longtime fan of Mad Max, one of the unexpected gifts of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is that it presents its tale in more of an epic scope than previous entries, i.e. we get a lot more in-your-face world-building.

Rather than following the battle between one desperate hero and the forces of a post-apocalyptic megalomaniac, the story of Anya Taylor-Joy’s Furiosa is set against a long tug-of-war between Chris Hemsworth’s Dementus and his Biker Horde, a younger but no less monstrous Immortan Joe (Lachy Hulme), Joe’s many lieutenants, and the treacherous Octoboss (Goran Kleut).

While we hear about Gastown and the Bullet Farm in Mad Max: Fury Road for example, in Furiosa we get our first chance to visit both places.

It’s against this backdrop that we follow Furiosa’s escape from Chris Hemsworth’s clutches to Immortan Joe’s Citadel where she anonymously climbs the ranks of Joe’s army, first impressing the disfigured Scrotus (a refugee from the 2015 Mad Max video game, played by Josh Helman in Furiosa) and later Joe’s trusted war rig driver Praetorian Jack (Tom Burke).

A Slower Pace, But Still A Banger

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga does not share the nonstop action pacing of Fury Road, though that’s never to its detriment. If anything there are more impressive individual action scenes throughout Furiosa than most Mad Max flicks, starting with Mary’s ceaseless pursuit of her daughter’s captors.

When it comes to the franchise’s deadly car chases, George Miller shows he still has some post-apocalyptic tricks up his sleeve. Most impressively there’s the relentless forces of the Octoboss–a traitor to Chris Hemsworth’s Dementus–who include hang gliders and air surfers in their ranks.

Through It All, Dementus Is King

chris hemsworth furiosa

If there is any downside to Chris Hemsworth’s portrayal of Dementus, it’s that George Miller may struggle in any future installments to find a villain that can match him. Coming off like an obnoxious but nevertheless magnetic circus ringmaster graduated to wasteland warlord, Dementus is without question the most charismatic and darkly humorous of the Mad Max villains we’ve seen.

He is also the most relatable and human of the Max villains. When he angrily tears his dead daughter’s teddy bear away from the young Furiosa, and later when he shrieks into his captives’ faces, “There is no hope!” you believe him. He is not just a strutting clown at the end of the world, but a man brimming with as much misery as he doles out on the daily.

I feel like I’m strutting dangerously close to exaggeration when I say this, but it’s tough to not feel that Dementus is to the career of Chris Hemsworth what The Dark Knight‘s Joker was to Heath Ledger’s. He’s just that shockingly good.

Absent Friends

To be perhaps more honest than a review calls for, the worst part of Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga is completely beyond the control of anyone in the production–there are far too many cast members of Mad Max: Fury Road who have since passed away, and so were not able to join Chris Hemsworth and Anya Taylor-Joy in the film.

Miller’s late, great friend Hugh Keays-Byrne–who not only plays Immortan Joe in Fury Road but played Max Rockatansky’s very first Big Bad (the biker gang leader Toecutter in 1979’s Mad Max)–is succeeded by Lachy Hulme (The Matrix Revolutions). The late Richard Carter played the vengeful Bullet Farmer in Fury Road, and in Furiosa Lee Perry (Happy Feet) takes his place.

There is no mention of Corpus Colossus–Joe’s eldest son who regularly bosses around the boneheaded Rictus (Nathan Jones) in spite of the former’s smaller stature. Corpus Colossus was portrayed by Quentin Kenihan, a man who suffered from osteogenesis imperfecta and passed away in October 2018. Kenihan was a successful actor, TV host, and disability advocate who was so beloved in Australia that upon hearing of his death, Russell Crowe mournfully called him, “My little mate, the bravest bloke I ever met.

It’s not that Hulme and Perry are not up to the task of playing their respective roles in the Chris Hemsworth/Anya Taylor-Joy blockbuster. It’s simply that, depending on your emotional investment in the Max film saga, it can be difficult knowing that it isn’t the men who originated the roles on the screen.

That said, considering what filmmakers have available to them these days, it’s good to know Miller would rather recast a role than create digital puppets.

See Furiosa Immediately


While I do not think the exceptional performances of Chris Hemsworth, Anya Taylor-Joy render Furiosa a better film than Mad Max: Fury Road, it’s still an incredible follow up and without doubt one of the best entries in the series. It also seems somewhat foolish to compare the two–the cinematography, the characters, and the direction may make you think differently, but tonally and thematically they’re completely different flicks.

If you love the Max movies, if you love action, if you love revenge stories, or if you just love cinema, you should see it.

If you’ve already seen it and you don’t want to see it again, we were watching different movies.