Fury (2014)

fury_2014_poster
  • Time: 135 min
  • Genre: Action | Drama | War
  • Director: David Ayer
  • Cast: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña

Storyline:

April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.

12 reviews

  • This is somewhat of an overwhelming movie. It shows the last “total war” at its most desperate. We see — no, we smell – the excitement and the horrors experienced by a single tank crew.

    This movie jolts you into realizing that much of what we’ve seen on the screen over the last 70 years about this war has become cliché. Most of those who lived through the war are dead and we can now dare to imagine what it really must have been like and tell stories that we didn’t dare tell before. These men were both heroes and “inglorious basterds”. Surely that’s the way it was. The movie clichés are trotted out and then dealt with brutally.

    A cinematic decision was made to show everything. In modern times, we need to see this to understand what total war is like. These are the things your granddad and dad refused to talk about. But if you’re squeamish, be warned. Further, this movie provoked a huge emotional response in me. Bring a hankie. Yes, sweat, blood and tears — this movie is an experience.

    I have never seen armoured operations, tank battles and tank activities so well depicted on film, However, the German military seemed strangely ineffective at times. I suppose this was to give the film dramatic tension and showcase our heroes. It felt artificial.

    Pitt and Lerman are very good, but it was Shia LaBoeuf who really shone. What a fine actor. This was a larger than life tank crew (something unavoidable when Pitt and LaBoeuf are in your tank). It bothered me a little that this crew was so ragtag and maverick. Hollywood loves this kind of thing, but it is not realistic.

    Some of the scenes involving the interaction between the sergeant and the newbie also seemed unrealistic. But the decision to tell this story more or less through the eyes of Lerman’s character was brilliant. Sensitive, intelligent, conscientious, not combat trained, lacking acculturation to military life and battle, his main asset is the ability to type 60 words a minute. Now if this doesn’t speak directly to the hipster-reddit-twitter generation, nothing does. Norman Ellison is a young man from the 2010s, not the 1940s. It worked very effectively.

    I’m glad they referenced the Falaise Gap. Now THAT might be a movie…

    Highly recommended!

  • Fury is a movie of epic proportions. War movies are hard to take beyond the point of another shoot em up bang em up plot. Adding depth and emotion to a movie takes brilliant casting, direction, and plot; all of which Fury has. Although I am a HUGE Brad Pitt fan, he is not the only reason I liked this movie. Yes, he has a way of bringing the viewer in and making them feel apart of something but he was not the actor who spoke to me the most. Logan Lerman (yes the kid from Percy Jackson) did a bang up job of making this movie great. He has a fantastically written character and portrays his struggle in a very real way. I could relate with him and I could relate with the man he became as well, fantastic portrayal of a WWII soldier. Honorable mention goes out to Shia LeBeouf. Yes he is a method style actor and his character has the most emotion and grasp throughout the movie. Side note: the cuts on his face were real cuts he made himself, prime example of method acting.

    There was nothing I didn’t like. Some people I talked to said that it was slow in the middle but I would have to entirely disagree. The climax the movie and stage it for an epic ending. The middle adds depth and meaning to the tragedy to follow. Without the emphasis on life and personal gratification amongst soldiers during that time, the ending would not have meant so much.

    One Liner: If you want something that clinches you in the gut, shows you the rawness of war, and reveals the realities of war and emotion and victory; watch this movie.

  • Fury is a war movie with many war movie tropes and clichés. The cast of characters, for example, is one big cliché; there’s the hardened veteran who’s respected by everyone he commands, the christian guy who keeps spouting bible verses, the bulldog who is so brimming with testosterone that he almost becomes a parody of himself, the Mexican who keeps getting told off for speaking Spanish, and of course the new recruit that they all bully until he proves himself worthy of their respect. So it’s interesting that the movie decides to take a character-driven approach seeing as all the main characters are shallow stereotypes. Fortunately it kind of works in being a vehicle for the movie’s themes.

    The biggest theme of the whole movie is certainly anti-war. It shows the brutality of it in all it’s gory and psychological glory. It’s a heavy movie to watch, both visually and emotionally, and that cast of characters are what helps push this along. But first the gore and violence. I mean, it’s a war movie, this level of violence comes with the territory, however I’m shocked this got such a low rating (15 in the UK). The new recruit’s first task is to clean up the mess of the guy he’s replacing, whereupon he finds half the guy’s face splat on the wall. The journey to his first mission ends up with their lieutenant getting set on fire and ultimately shooting himself in the head to make the pain stop. Yeah, this isn’t a movie for the light-stomached.

    But back to the character focus and how it aids the themes. While the movie might be visually challenging to watch thanks to all the gore and violence, it’s also hard to watch because of the emotions and psychology at play. It’s these emotional situations that really lift the characters out of their pigeon-holed stereotypes. Again, focussing on the new recruit who was never trained with a weapon or how to kill, he struggles to kill the German soldiers. Taking a life is taking a life even if it is a you-or-me situation, and he’s adamant to keep his conscious clean. He’s also bullied on by the other members of his crew because of his “weak” mental state, when in actual fact it’s them who have grown apathetic and desensitised to the horrors of war.

    Every plot point in this movie is placed there to prove a point, whether it’s logical and believable or not. There’s a really long, drawn-out scene after they take a German town where Don (the veteran) and Norman (the recruit) invite themselves into the home of a German woman and her young cousin. While the scene is long, ruining the pace and taking us out of the action long enough to forget the horrors we’ve seen, it has pride of place in developing the characters, their relationships to one another, and showing why you should never get attached to people in war time. Norman is swept off his feet by the young cousin, and finding her dead later on obviously has a big impact on his mental state. It’s a good way to get that point across, it’s just not handled particularly well (beyond the pace being slowed right down). The two German women are constantly on edge at the risk of these strange Americans just raping them, so why the young cousin suddenly swoons into bed with Norman after hearing him play the piano, after being introduced half an hour ago doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

    The acting is the single-biggest driving factor of the movie. The characters may be weak, the plot simple, and the themes and ideas mishandled, but the sheer quality of acting on display makes sure that you never really notice how weak the characters are. Each and every actor shares a great chemistry with his fellows that instantly lends to these four guys having been together as long as they claim. Each one also manages to individually add a surprising depth to their otherwise two-dimensional characters. Brad Pitt’s Don is indeed the hardened veteran he’s made out to be, wise and commanding respect wherever he goes even though he’s not the highest ranking soldier. However he is also a bully, running Norman hard and against his ideologies. But he’s human as well. He’s respected because he’s a nice guy deep down and he’s committed to his cause. A two-dimensional character he is not.

    Every major character is given this same amount of depth by their actor. Logan Lerman’s Norman may be the weedy greenhorn, but he’s not a pushover nor is he socially challenged. He often goes toe-to-toe with the other members of his crew, giving as much as he takes, in defence of his stance. Shia LaBeouf’s Bible (the Christian, if you couldn’t tell) isn’t your regular goody two-shoes that type of character is often portrayed as. He doesn’t join in with the bullying as much, but he doesn’t do anything to stop it, and in fact sides with his crewmembers even when they’re being unreasonable. Of all the crew though, he’s the one who gets most attached, so whenever another crew member dies, he’s the one to add that emotional weight. I don’t care what anyone says, LaBeouf is an astounding actor that deserves more credit – personal life be screwed. Jon Bernthal’s animalistic Grady is every bit as macho (and slightly dumb) as his stereotype requires, but is again still human. He never quite reaches into parody land, and his short heart-to-heart with Norman near the end goes a long way to show that he’s not just a brute. Michael Peña unfortunately gets the short end of the stick with the under-developed Gordo. Much like his Mexican stereotype, that’s about all that’s particularly memorable about him, and other than straggling the line between Bible’s good nature and Grady’s masculinity like a happy medium, he doesn’t have a particularly well-carved out role within the crew (other than being the driver).

    Okay, I’ve rambled on too long so I’ll wrap it up. Fury is a suspense-filled, nail-biting war movie that will definitely keep you on the edge of your seat. It’s the first movie I’ve seen that gives proper credit to the armoured regiments and this alone makes it stand out from the sea of WWII movies that are out there. The characters are weak, but the fantastic acting gives them the added dimensions they need, and the messages and themes are good and come across really well, but they sometimes become a detriment to the overall movie. Critically, Fury is a movie with many faults deserving of no more than a “good” 7/10. Personally however I still really enjoyed it despite all these problems and would probably have rated it higher if not for the aim of my blog to be as objective as possible. So there we have it, 7/10.

  • War is not for the weak-minded, soft-hearted or thin-skinned as Norman Ellis (Logan Lerman) soon learns when he’s assigned to be an assistant driver for the M4 Sherman tank nicknamed “Fury.” Practically just out of his mama’s womb, his greenness is a danger to the safety of Fury’s crew and he’s forced to shoot a captured SS officer by his tank commander Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt).

    Wardaddy has been fighting the Germans from Africa to the Netherlands and he has two things on his mind: kill the Germans and keep his crew alive. The odds seem stacked against him and the rest of the soldiers fighting in the war: the American tanks are outgunned and out-armoured by the more superior German tanks, resulting in a staggering number of lives lost. Indeed, as Fury makes its way from one town to another, from one makeshift base camp to the next, they’re welcomed by the bodies of their fallen brothers, the wails of the wounded, and the weary bravado of those still standing.

    Click here for the complete review

  • Apparently the first thing you being taught in the army when you are send on to the battlefield is that you have to accept that one day you will die. It can be 60 years from now or if that is your destiny it will be today in the chaos of war. If you except that then the fear of dying turns to adrenaline that actually helps you to survive. We could go further with this train of thought and fall back on Gnostic philosophy of existence where we are considered spark of divinity, soul- light that is trapped in this sinful world of matter only to return into the source where our soul comes from. The reason why women in most religious traditions are treated as the negative principal of creation is because your mothers womb is in reality your tomb. The second you are starting your materialistic sinful carnation in the world of matter, in reality it is beginning of your death as your cells are dying on a daily basis and are reborn once again.

    Coming back to the review it definitely takes special kind of a man to become a soldier. The horrors of war that most soldiers go through are unimaginable for most people. This is why successful war movies are so scares and majority of time the balance between the drama, character development and the plot needs to be achieved to make sure that the mainstream audience will be able to empathize with the characters and the story. Majority of time in war movies you have a cinema full of male viewers. It rarely happens that the audience is evenly divided between women and men. This is what the presence of Brat Pitt does to the success at the box office. Writer-director David Ayer created truly something very special in his newest WWII drama “FURY” which might be early contender to the next year Oscar race for the best movie.

    Yes indeed! He is also responsible for writing hit movies like “Training Day”, “U-571”, “The Fast and the Furious” and directed in the past very solid but far from perfect movies like “End of Watch” and “Harsh Times”. In “FURY’ he accomplishes possibly his best and most technically difficult movie so far mainly with a development of characters where plot became secondary to the realistic depiction of carnage of war. This film offers the viewer a claustrophobic experience of being one of the crew members of US tank under the leadership of Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier played valiantly by excellent Brat Pitt.

    “April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.”

    The whole movie despite of lacking a clear plot line and in essence is just three battlefield scenes that showcase the deterioration of our characters and their moral values testing them as human beings who try to survive at all cost. The war creates monsters on both sides and is a clear test of who our characters are inside. Are they moral people or just animals that in heat of the battle forget about their humanity and compassion. The acting is superb from all the principles. Brat Pitt delivers one of his better performances as brave tank commander who tries to make sure that his crew will get through the horrors of war in one piece. Shia LaBeouf goes method in his performance and apparently refused to take showers during the full time of filming as well he pulled his lower tooth to get in to character of companioned religious Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan who becomes the moral barometer of the crew developing almost love like admiration towards his commanding officer. Then Jon Bernthal and Michael Peña offer wonderful rich support to the lead actors with Logan Lerman playing a rookie that joins the crew. In some way we observe the horror of war through his eyes and the director is hinting that in some way Pitt’s character sees himself in this young intelligent man that has a compassion towards his enemy.

    The battlefield scenes are realistic in it’s violence and often leave us speechless feeling like we are in the middle of actual combat. Movies like “Das Boot” and “U-571” come to mind where the claustrophobic feeling of being stuck in the metal tin can that stands between them and the enemy enhances the actual cinematic experience. Being 134 minutes long as the audience we are truly engaged into this character driven story that has a potential to not be overlooked in next years Oscar race. Very good film full of wonderful acting performances even if the plot of the story has got something to be desired.

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  • “Fury” is intended as a ‘horrors of war’ film in the same way that “Saving Private Ryan” was, and there are perhaps too many scenes of deeply unpleasant injuries and deaths. However, it has two key strengths. One is the tank battle scenes, which I have not seen done so effectively before. The other is realism; it includes vignettes on the enormous psychological resistance to killing another human being; whether there are atheists in foxholes; and incongruous moments of humanity.

    It does include some war film clichés; there’s a transformation from ‘boy’ into ‘soldier man’; the usual ‘band of brothers’ stuff; and the Americans are not nice, but the Germans are nastier (though sadly, this reflects the reality of spring 1945 pretty well). There are also a few ‘but why didn’t they just …’ moments in the plot.

    The whole tank crew comes together quite well. We see the characters in different situations and we establish quite well what kind of people they are. Brad Pitt is the leader, Logan Lerman is the wimpy guy who doesn’t exactly want to be there, Shia LaBeouf is the religious guy, and so on.

    It won’t become that classic that Saving Private Ryan is — it earned that status by being the first ‘real war violence’ film and also having a journey as its core plot — but it’s well worth the night out, as long as you have the stomach for the bloody bits. I would say “Fury” is the best war film since “Saving Private Ryan”!

  • Fury 8.5/10: I have seen at least two dozen different WWII movies in my life and with the exception of Saving Private Ryan, Fury is the best WWII film I have ever seen. Sergeant Wardaddy says “Ideals are peaceful, history is violent.” This film is not for the faint of heart because it is not afraid to hold back on the brutality and utter gruesomeness that war brings to the world. Some of the images are horrifying to watch but are necessary to establish the theme of the film. I rarely see a film like this one. With ingeniously-crafted intense war scenes, strong acting across the board, and a new somewhat claustrophobic setting, a tank, Fury has become the best war film of the past five years.

    I had to think really hard about what I would have changed for this movie. Aside from a somewhat laughable moment where they had to find an excuse to have Brad Pitt take his shirt off, I could not find anything to criticize. Some people say this film suffers from a plot that does not seem to go anywhere, but I thought it knew exactly where it wanted to go. A soldiers life does not have a clear-cut path that he has to follow. The plot follows as such a soldier’s life would go-in all directions.

    From what I have heard since I have never been in a war, Fury is very realistic. It does the opposite of holding back. It shows gives you the horrors of war and how soldiers have to respond to them. It has you like a character one second showing you how great they are, then shows you the character dead in a pile of rubble. It’s not glorifying the Americans at all times either. It shows the pure hatred the Americans had for Germans. This is something we would all feel though and shows how one day of war can bring that hatred out of someone.

    For full review and more, http://reviewsbywest.com/fury.html

  • David Ayer is a guy who’s made some good movies, some bad movies and some okay movies. He started of his career as a screen-writer writing scripts for action movies like ‘The Fast and the Furious’ and ‘Training Day’. His directorial debut ‘Harsh Times’ was met with a mixed response, and his second feature ‘Street Kings’ failed to deliver. Ayer finally found his groove with police drama ‘End of Watch’ only to follow it up with the disgusting and overly violent ‘Sabotage’. For a guy who’s spend most of his career making movies about ‘cops’, ‘Fury’ is a welcome change of pace for Ayer.

    Set in 1945, towards the end of World War II, Fury tells the story of Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt) an army sergeant , his five man crew and their tank ‘Fury’ as they push into the heart of Nazi Germany. Featuring a great cast led by Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, Logan Lerman and Jon Bernthal, Fury is…

    Read Full Review at: filmfanaticmovieblog.wordpress.com/2014/12/13/movie-review-fury-2014/

  • War films aren’t the easiest to depict for a number of reasons. Depending on the era the war took place; the period had certain items. These items range from weapons, tools, clothing and vehicles. Not every item from every era exists nowadays. Even if they are still in mint condition, that does not mean it will be available for use. This kind of permission only happens when the people making the film really know what they are doing and have the respect to take care of it and use it in a way that not only shows it in its prime but glorifies it when it’s over. The production behind this movie did exactly that The story follows Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) and his small crew that end up accepting a reassigned typist turned rookie soldier (Logan Lerman). Together, they face incredible odds to break what’s left of Hitler’s Nazis.

    As a war drama, this film has it. Writer/director David Ayer displays that he worked hard for what he puts up on screen. The realism is definitely illusive, with lots of blood, explosions and ugly ways to die. It’ll make audiences wonder how does one accept such a horrific fate or if they survived, how does one cope with what they saw. The best sequences however do not belong to the gun shootouts in the field or urban terrain. The notable scenes belong to the Sherman tanks. Visually watching these behemoths literally punch holes in anything they launch their projectiles into is enticing to see. This also goes with the mechanics behind how trained soldiers operate and direct these monsters. The operations also do not always take place from the inside, to give a better idea of what the tanks try to accomplish, cinematographer Roman Vasyanov also shoots from a bird’s eye view. It’s a different angle and it works in helping the audience understand. Vasyanov also gets other good shots of the urban and rural terrain, either by infantry POV or just showing the devastation. The sound quality is also praiseworthy; much of it sounds like what you would hear from the old Call of Duty games.

    The acting is also very good along with most of each one’s development as an individual. Although this isn’t Brad Pitt’s first war film, he continues to show that he can immerse himself in the role that he plays. Here, Pitt portrays his character as a softy but only when it comes to his men and Fury; everyone else he could care less. Surprisingly as much as he continues to trash his reputation, Shia LaBeouf demonstrates that he can act too and not like the punk character of Sam Witwicky from Michael Bay’s Transformers (2007) sequels. For once, LaBeouf is a man and that deserves a thumb’s up. Logan Lerman’s performance is a great representation of the relatable character for the audience. This is due to his combat experience and how he sees warfare. As time progresses, audiences will understand why his view on war changes. Michael Peña as “Gordo” the only soldier in the crew to give a little foreign flavor provides much of the dry humor (it is done appropriately) that is easily understandable for the situations the crew gets into. Finally is Jon Bernthal who plays a somewhat uneducated soldier but even with his lack of respect for certain things, he also exhibits some likeable humanity from time to time.

    The only real blunders this movie makes, belongs to its writing. The characters are developed accordingly but backgrounds are left out entirely except for a few tidbits. Aside from Lerman’s character, nobody has any kind of back story other than the crew used to have more tanks and first met in Africa. Okay that’s when they met, but what about family at home? This would not only flesh out each individual but also give them a more human persona than just military guys who have nothing but their comrades. Then again, that may be the case but it’s never stated clearly. Also, how is that Wardaddy knows fluent German? And why couldn’t subtitles be put for those moments when German was spoken? It’s not like they were the most pivotal points in the film but it would’ve been nice to know what was being said.

    Besides these two components, the only other part that felt sluggish and extended for too long was a dining room table scene. Here, Wardaddy and Lerman’s character take some time to settle down in a German woman’s house. There they have them make a meal and sit down to eat. At that moment, the rest of the crew comes up and sits down with them. This scene drags, and in some ways feels intentional while also being unintentional. My guess is that the intentional was supposed to emphasize the importance of enjoying the moments of rest soldiers had. However, the unintentional may be that it went on for too long of “enjoying the moment” and forgetting where the time went. I guess the editors (who have worked for other well respected movies) forgot to trim this scene. On the other hand, the music composed by Steven Price was a new listening experience. Price included choirs that highlighted the doom and gloom of the Nazis and the horrors of war for the Allied troops. When it came to the tank scenes, the instruments kept the scene very tense by using deep brass and percussion. Considering he’s only scored a few films, score collectors should keep an ear out for his next entry.

    Writer/director David Ayer’s story omits character back-stories and has one scene that drags but everything else works wonderfully. The acting is solid by all actors, the music matches the period’s tone and the tank warfare is highly engaging.

    Points Earned –> 7:10

  • War is hell. And in the case of 2014’s Fury (my latest review), war is sometimes a popcorn flick. In other words, this thing is not gonna wow the Academy nor is it gonna garner any award nominations come January. It is alas, just another battlefield relic, a sort of second tier Saving Private Ryan that also lacks any sort of poetic grandeur from other WWII vehicles such as 1998’s The Thin Red Line. Granted, my halfhearted recommendation will stem from it having a few decent performances and a compelling, final thirty minutes involving the protective stand of a broken down Sherman tank. But my bar for scope and sophistication via war movies has always been set very high, and Director David Ayer, who was once in the armed forces himself, unfortunately only raises it a couple of notches here.

    Edited by Dody Dorn who handled Ayer’s last picture in Sabotage, filmed primarily in England, UK (masquerading as East Germany), and having an opening shot that is equal parts scintillating and downright horrific, Fury is an October release that could possibly be labeled as true fact (that’s if in the 1940’s, killing a defenseless, innocent man wasn’t a war crime and head decapitation was how every soldier bit the dust). But come on, does it really matter? As you view it, this dirty, grimy, overcast looking flick is almost plotless in its otherwise two hour-plus running time. What precludes is something minimal about a time during WWII (April of 1945 to be exact), where a five-man tank crew must take on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. They must stop hundreds of German Nazis (who else?) at all cost. So in retrospect, watching Fury made me wonder two things: 1. could what have transpired in this movie succeed more as a sort of documentary shot by an ancient TV crew patiently following a bunch of soldiers around? 2. why is director David Ayer so hellbent on having his characters one up each other, measure each other’s manhood (figuratively speaking of course), and having their scenes of conflict being taken way too far (beyond the point of reason)? There’s a sequence where these five grubby tankers sit down at a dinner table to eat with two German woman. It’s drawn out, cruel, boring, and unnecessary.

    Regardless, the cast in Fury is for the most part, pretty decent besides the clunky dialogue that they sometimes have to belt out. Sure, they are your typical war stereotypes with lousy attitudes, born to kill instincts, somewhat fake southern accents, and plenty of nasty battle scars. But their acting is way better than in any John Wayne war film (The Green Berets, ugh!) or any John Woo war film (Windtalkers, double ugh!). First off, there’s Brad Pitt looking Kelly’s Heroes chic in the title role as Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier. His character is the leader of the five-man crew and his performance sort of riffs off his Nazi-hating role in Inglorious Basterds. Is it entirely similar? Sort of. But where his Lieutenant Raine in “Basterds” was more of a cartoonish impersonation, this is something much deeper. Then we have young Logan Lerman playing effectively, the rookie US Army Private Norman Ellison. He’s been a working actor for fourteen years (and he’s only 22). Here’s hoping this role is a sure-fire breakout one for him. And for the record, his frightened, bewildered military rook reminded me solely of Jeremy Davies as Tim Upham in “Ryan”. Finally, we have Shia LaBeouf giving Fury its strongest performance. I’ve always thought of him as being extremely overrated as an actor. But when you put a mustache on him, he totally immerses himself into his role as a bible-thumping Technician 5th Grade. His Boyd Swan is a stultified standout. As for the other two thespians that make it up the gritty five-men crew, well we’ve got Michael Pena (an Ayer veteran) and Jon Bernthal. Their roles are equal parts token, bigoted, and misogynistic.

    Performances and direction are key, but when Fury is about to reach its forgone conclusion, the film score actually becomes the main star. It’s stirring and it deviates from the pedestrian battle scenes that clearly lack the brilliant technicality of the similar themed (and similar looking) Saving Private Ryan. As mentioned earlier, Fury is sadly, a unintentional popcorn flick rooted in the concept of being non-monumental. It will entertain you like any other vague action film. But the battle sequences depicted (and there are many) are not that compelling. I mean, they are violent but they are laughably rooted in midnight horror fare more than anything else. Case in point: an M4 Sherman tank runs over an already dead corpse and it’s the equivalent of a motorcycle squishing a pop can. Also, the outside, facial imprint of a mutilated assistant bow gunner is shown in detail and it would make Hannibal Lecter (or even Nic Cage’s Castor Troy from Face/Off) supremely jealous. Anyway, towards the end of Fury’s exhausting third act, Pitt’s Collier grabs a bottle of liquor, takes a long, slow drink out of it and says, “that’s better than good.” The same can’t quite be said about this rollicking grimfest. It’s just good enough so I’ll roll with a three star rating.

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  • It’s highly likely that David Ayer’s Fury will conjure memories of Saving Private Ryan (1998). It will also bring to mind The Wild Geese (1978), The Dirty Dozen (1967), and just about every World War II movie ever made. It’s also hard to shake off the idea that Brad Pitt is not playing Aldo Raine, his drawling, neck-scarred leader of a band of Nazi hunters in Quentin Tarantino’s excellent Inglourious Basterds (2009). Although Fury is certainly not lacking in spectacle and decent performances, it just doesn’t come up with any ideas of its own, stumbling along a wafer-thin narrative and getting lost on its way to try and figure out what type of film it wants to be.

    We are in the climatic days of the war, with the U.S. deep into Germany territory, and the crew of ‘Fury’, an M4A3E8 Sherman tank, long battle-worn. Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Pitt) is a hard man (we first meet him knocking a German soldier from his horse and stabbing him to death), but he struggles dealing with the horrors he has witnessed. With a crew member dead in their latest fight, rookie Norman (Logan Lerman), a kid who has never fired a gun or experienced combat, is plucked from his typing duties and thrown into Fury. The crew, consisting of bible-bashing gunner, er, Bible (Shia LaBeouf), token Hispanic driver Gordo Garcia (Michael Pena), and scumbag mechanic Coon-Ass (Jon Bernthal), don’t take too kindly to the new arrival.

    Perhaps the most frustrating thing about Fury is that it hints at potential brilliance. The underlying theme seems to be that war turns men into animals, and in one stand-out scene in which Wardaddy takes Norman into the home of two German women so he can lose his virginity, only to be interrupted by his crew and a drunken, vulgar Coon-Ass, manages to create an atmosphere of tension and discomfort. The battle scenes look very impressive too. Bullets fly across the screen like lasers, and one set-piece involving a squad of Sherman facing a superior German Tiger tank is exciting, but the film is often too eager to revel in gore and flying body parts.

    Fury spends so much time giving us blood, guts and loud noises that it forgets to give us any resemblance of a plot to hang onto. It also gets so lost in trying to hammer home how damaged these men have become than it doesn’t allow us to get to know the characters on any deeper level than their primary personality trait, ticking off a check-list of war movie cliches on its way. It all builds up to a ridiculous climax that pitches Fury against a 300-strong company of SS panzergrenadiers, who all proceed to jog gleefully into a hail of machine-gun fire like many a faceless video game baddie. It manages to insult both the German army and the audience’s intelligence. We are given little to make us sympathise with the Americans apart from the fact that they aren’t Nazi’s, so come the emotions at the end, it’s difficult to care at all.

    Rating: 2/5

  • David Ayer’s ability to write a script involving characters in law enforcement of any sort has always been his forte, being that he is responsible for the writing behind Training Day, End of Watch, U-571 and Sabotage. Ayer returns as not only the writer but as the director for his latest script, Fury. This time his script takes us far back to April 1945, the final stretch of World War II. Joining him is an all-star cast (on all levels) of Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal, all Ayer’s main subjects. Unfortunately, Fury is filled with plot holes and war cliches causing Ayer to take a step in the wrong direction in his script writing.

    “April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.”

    With the majority of the film focused on Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier’s crew, the first job Ayer should have addressed was developing all five of the characters. This isn’t a police car like Ayer is used to dealing with in films such as Training Day and End of Watch in which you only had to worry about the people in the front of the car. No, this time we are in a tank and instead of a two man crew, we have a five man team. Instead, Ayer decides to focus on the Sergeant and the newcomer, Norman. To only purely focus on two of five characters that are in such a closed space as a tank is ludicrous. Besides, in the first fifteen minutes of the film you don’t learn anything new about the other three members and they just end up being war-cliches like ‘the Mexican’, ‘the bad guy’ and ‘the preacher’.

    Not to take anything away from Wardaddy and Norman’s story line as it does bring some depth and emotion to the film but Ayer never wraps up their relationship either. Their relationship begins with Wardaddy forcing Norman to kill a man for the first time in his life. Showing the viewers that innocence is the first to die in war. Midway into the film, the two spend a rare day off with two females which plays as a wonderful step in their relationship and leaves you with a feeling that something is coming that will not only change their relationship but the entire basis of the film. Those feelings never get satisfied as that scene plays as the last development in their relationship. What a let down.

    Just in case you forgot by reading the review thus far, Fury is a war movie and you will see a lot of war aspects, maybe more than you thought. There is a lot of brutal imagery throughout the film and if you have a light stomach than you might be joining Norman for a puke or two. Fury provides a fresh point of view than other war films as the viewers are limited to seeing and hearing only what the tank crew can see and hear. From the confines of the tank to what is forthcoming in the battlefield, you will experience it all.

    A war film is only as good as its action sequences and that is one part that Fury does not disappoint. Ayer might have not delivered in the script like we are accustomed to but he is still the man when it comes to assessing men under fire. Is this film the best war film? No. But will you enjoy yourself? Yes.

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