Movie Review: FURY.
Directed By: David Ayer.
Starring: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena and John Berthnal.
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, War Daddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Fury is set in Germany 1945 and follows four seasoned Tank operators joined by a fresh-faced soldier as they work their way through into enemy lines and progress the war. That is really about it in terms of plot for Fury, there isn't a specific mission that these five have to accomplish, they just have to make it through another day without being killed.
Brad Pitt leads the group as Sergeant Don "War Daddy" Collier and that nickname alone serves as the characters back story. He leads the troop of 'Bible' (LaBeouf) aptly named for his love of scripture, 'Gordo' (Pena) and 'Coon-Ass' (Berthnal), the four lose their front gunner and receive a replacement gunner in the form of a newbie soldier, Norman (Lerman).
Pitt pulls out everything he's got here and gives one of the best performances of his career as the rough yet tender Sergeant. The rest of the cast do an excellent job. Shia LaBeouf steals few scenes with his toned down and natural performance of a man who quotes the bible yet doesn't conduct himself like a man of God. John Berthnal gives the best performance of his career so far as the savage sociopath of the group who looks like he's about to snap any second, his character is a straight up bully yet has his redeeming moments. Michael Pena doesn't do anything stand out like his performance in Ayer's other film "End Of Watch" but adds some humor to some dark scenes. The stand out here is really Logan Lerman who blew us all away with his performance in 2012's "The Perks Of Being A Wallflower", Lerman steps it up a notch and gives us something we've never seen from him before and proves that he's one to watch.
David Ayer shocked audiences and critics alike with his very impressive cop film "End Of Watch" which also starred Pena. He then let us all down with this year's "Sabotage" which was a straight up mess. Ayer certainly redeems himself with Fury, this is a tough and authentic take on WW2 that got off to a rocky start yet improved with every single scene.
Amidst the foggy and brutal action set pieces, Ayer takes time to build character. One scene in-particular takes a break away from the shooting and screaming to show War Daddy and Norman sit down with two German women and blow off a little steam, when the scene began I feared that the pace would be thrown off but Ayer proved me wrong and gave us a tense yet somewhat soothing scene. This was when Fury rose above the average war movie status and began to approach something truly special. From then on I was invested in these characters which made the finale all the more heart breaking.
Fury manages to impress with spectacle but also tell a story that is both poignant and powerful through its characters. It's rare I see a film where the film makers passion shines through, it was clear throughout Fury that David Ayer had a lot invested in this project. The visuals of the film and the characters work perfectly and culminate in Ayer's finest work to date.
A lot of the film is set inside of Fury, which is the name of the Tank that our characters reside in. It was clear that every shot had been carefully thought out inside the tank as the mis-en-scene showed us a lot about each of the characters. Whilst inside the tank, Ayer attempts to make you feel trapped and enclosed as our 5 characters are and did a perfect job of making me feel quite claustrophobic at times.
In Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds" which also starred Brad Pitt, we are supposed to be entertained by the death of the Nazi soldiers yet in Fury we are reminded that whilst the acts these men committed were atrocious, they are still men following orders and especially in the final moments of the film we are reminded of the shred of humanity that some German soldiers still maintained.
Fury serves as a study of American soldiers during WW2 whilst also serving as a big, hard boiled action flick. Ayer shows off his ability to control action and he films it beautifully, it almost feels like you're there in the tank.
A lot of the criticism's of Fury are that of its characters. A lot of critics don't find an appeal with the films 5 leads and whilst I understand that, I must disagree. I found these characters completely compelling, they felt real, they were angry and tough and I sympathized with them because no one should have to go through the horrors that these men went through. They felt human and even though the film is set within one day, I felt a bond between each of the characters.
[Fury](movie:866294) surprised me on just about every level, its entertaining, it's powerful and it has heart. I definitely recommend you see it, I'm going to give it an 8.9/10!
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