Fury

"Good"

Fury Review


From Training Day to this year's Sabotage, filmmaker David Ayer writes and directs movies about the cathartic power of releasing your inner warrior. And this World War II action thriller is more of the same, with a "war is hell" message stirred in for good measure. The problem is that there's nothing particularly new here. It's a beautifully shot and edited film, with terrific performances and a remarkable sense of scale, but there have been so many movies made about this conflict that it's difficult to find something original to connect with.

It's near the end of the war, April 1945, as Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) leads the crew of a tank named Fury: Bible (Shia LaBeouf) is a true believer, Gordo (Michael Pena) is a relaxed joker, and Coon-Ass (Jon Bernthal) is a hot-headed thug. Having just lost their driver, they're joined by rookie Norman (Logan Lerman), who doesn't yet have a wartime nickname because he never thought he'd end up driving a tank. Together, they head further into Germany, not as liberators but as invaders and occupiers, working with other tank crews to take a strategic town before heading further into the hot zone, where a series of particularly brutal Nazi assaults ensue.

The point of the film seems to be that war erodes a person's humanity over time, and the sharpest aspect is the way each character emerges at some point on the continuum. Obviously, Norman is the naive newbie who still has a strong conscience, while at the other extreme Coon-Ass is virtually a monster. Wardaddy is somewhere in between, a tough guy who still has a sense of perspective, such as when he reasons that Norman should be allowed to have some private time with a young German girl (Alicia von Rittberg) simply because they're "young and alive". All of the actors are excellent, adding telling details to their characters that deepen every scene. And the camaraderie between the five-man crew is remarkably authentic, as is their ease inside the cramped quarters of the tank, which makes submarine movies look spacious by comparison.

The problem is that while the film looks great and has a strong surge of dramatic tension, it's blunt and obvious. The only subtlety is in the performances; otherwise each encounter feels predictable, mainly because it's so clear where the lines are drawn between good and evil. This means that the film's depiction of heroism is ultimately fake: deciding to take a last stand simply in order to kill as many enemies as possible isn't brave or noble, it's an atrocity. But Ayer continually suggests that killing is good for the soul. Even though it's not actually good for anyone or anything.

Rich Cline

Click here to watch the trailer for Fury


 



Fury

Facts and Figures

Genre: War

Run time: 134 mins

In Theaters: Friday 17th October 2014

Box Office USA: $79.2M

Budget: $80M

Distributed by: Sony Pictures

Production compaines: Huayi Brothers Media, Columbia Pictures, Crave Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 78%
Fresh: 161 Rotten: 45

IMDB: 8.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: , Bill Block, John Lesher, Ethan Smith

Starring: as Don 'Wardaddy' Collier, as Boyd 'Bible' Swan, as Norman Ellison, as Trini 'Gordo' Garcia, as Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis, as Sergeant Binkowski, as Sergeant Davis, Kevin Vance as Sergeant Peterson, as Lt. Parker, as Captain Waggoner, as Irma, as Emma, as Sergeant Miles, as Hilda Meier

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