5 things to watch this bank holiday weekend – 24 to 27 May

A fistful of Furiosa, new Famous Five and other fun to get you through the long weekend.

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (2024)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide, including BFI IMAX

Refitting his Mad Max franchise with hyperreal CGI and a non-stop desert-chase momentum, Mad Max: Fury Road (2015) was the defining action movie of its decade, a road-hogging juggernaut of pure cinema. Nine years later, George Miller is back with this rampaging prequel, which moves Max to one side in order to put young rebel Furiosa into the driving seat. Played by Charlize Theron in Fury Road, this younger Furiosa is incarnated by Anya Taylor-Joy. Her origin story sees her being snatched as a girl by a biker gang and becoming caught up in a deadly turf war between rival warlords. Segmented into chapters and covering much more apocalyptic terrain, from Gastown to the Bullet Farm, Furiosa risked losing some of Fury Road’s fiery thrust. Instead, Miller handles the broader scope with aplomb: Furiosa leaves most competitors choking on its exhaust.

The Famous Five: The Eye of the Sunrise (2024)

Where’s it on? BBC iPlayer from 25 May and on BBC1, Monday, 14:00

The Famous Five: The Eye of the Sunrise (2024)BBC

Dropping this weekend, The Eye of the Sunrise is the third feature-length adventure in the BBC’s fun new series of Famous Five adaptations. Set in period garb in Enid Blyton’s 1930s, they nonetheless feel crisply modern, tapping into an irresistible strain of children’s hokum and derring-do and striking a balance that is neither staid nor off-puttingly hyperactive. All credit to the unlikeliest of directors, ultraviolence merchant Nicolas Winding Refn. The Drive (2011) director’s fingerprints are only really evident in the synth score and neon-coloured credit sequence; otherwise, the mood of Blyton’s cosy world is inhabited with obvious faith and affection. Diaana Babnicova’s George is the most valuable player, and this third entry sees her help her three cousins, Julian, Dick and Anne, in giving refuge to a circus performer with a powerful treasure to conceal.

Twilight of the Warriors: Walled In (2024)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Like Furiosa, this Hong Kong actioner arrives in our cinemas with barely a breath since its premiere at this year’s Cannes. Soi Cheang’s kinetic neo-noir plunges us into the deadly world of the lawless Walled City in Kowloon in British Hong Kong in the 1980s. Adapted from the Chinese comic City of Darkness by Andy Seto, it kicks off with a young man stumbling into the no-go enclave by accident and slowly finding his place within a brutal nocturnal economy of drug wars and gang fighting. Soi’s film is one of the most expensive HK films ever made, and it looks incredible: the blistering action takes place on sets that immersively evoke 1980s Kowloon as a Dickensian warren of neon and shadow. Mr Big is played with lethal boo-hiss cool by the legendary fight choreographer Sammo Hung.

In Flames (2023)

Where’s it on? Cinemas nationwide

Here is a thrilling, resonant, expertly calibrated first feature from Pakistani-Canadian writer-director Zarrar Kahn. Full of unnerving edits and slithers of visual unease, Kahn’s film dramatises the microaggressions, encroachments and outright hostilities faced by a young woman in male-dominated modern Karachi. Following a death in the family, Mariam’s (Ramesha Nawal) fragile period of grief becomes a nightmarish succession of predatory encounters with men, both real and in some cases imagined – or even supernatural. A brick is thrown through her car window. A man masturbates on the street outside her window. These grim disturbances dog her existence, even as she begins a promising relationship with a Canadian student. In Flames has been labelled a horror film in some quarters, but its sense of unease is subtler than that, if no less perturbing.

Laura (1944)

Where’s it on? BBC2, Saturday, 13:45

Laura (1944)

Richest of the first wave of film noirs of the early 1940s, Otto Preminger’s Laura forsakes the grit of the streets to move among the upper echelons of Manhattan society. It’s a murder mystery that’s elevated both by its erudite script and by the unusually profound things it has to say about the nature of desire. Dana Andrews is the police detective assigned to investigate the death by shotgun of a glamorous advertising executive, but finds himself slowly falling in love with the image and idea of the dead woman. Preminger’s film anticipates Vertigo (1958) in using the guise of a thriller to analyse male longing, with an oil painting likewise central to the mystery. Clifton Webb gets most of the best lines as effete columnist Waldo Lydecker (“In my case, self-absorption is completely justified”), and we also get Judith Anderson and an early-career Vincent Price as a socialite and her playboy lover.