Posted October 24, 2014 by editor in Film Reviews
 
 

Fury Review


fury

April 1045 – WWII is in its last violent stretch. A tank patrol lead by Sergeant “War Daddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) are missing a member of their team after years of hardened battle. Upon stocking up on supplies they are handed your fresher Norman (Logan Lerman) who seems to have missed out on the war up to this point and suddenly finds the harsh realities of thrust upon him with venomous aplomb by his new comrades in arms.

Off they go back into the field to do battle again and on various occasions have to deal not just with oncoming fire from the opposition, but their own interpersonal reactions to the war itself.

Fury makes no bones about war not being the prettiest of things. Norman as our viewpoint literally gets a kicking from his team, right away is ordered to scoop up the remains of the man he is replacing, and then thrust behind a gun that he is forced to use.

The battles that are fought are tense – whether it is the dirt and mud and muggy weather by day, or the fire blazed hell of a night time assault.

But it is the five guys we are following that really make this the pot-boiler it is: Each with their idiosyncratic characteristics and compulsion to berate others without much in the way of remorse or recoil.

Whilst all 5 members of the team are strong performers, certain members of the team are often left to the side with little to say or do (Michael Pena), whilst others seem like ciphers (La Beouf’s) that don’t develop enough of a stance in the film for you to follow them.

It has to be said that Jon Bernthal as Grady continues to deliver interesting character work on the big screen and does steal certain scenes that he is in with his character’s “hick” like behaviour.

Logan Lerman gets the hard task of being the new member of the team that needs to be, and is, ruthlessly broken in by the team. Often this would be an unsympathetic “audience” viewpoint role that all too often gets messed up thanks to shoddy script writing and inexperienced acting, and yet Lerman and Ayer manage to defeat both of those obstacles.

The man on top is of course Pitt, getting to do the things we only heard about his character from Inglorious Basterds do. For subject matter this makes an interesting companion piece to various modern era made WWII movies from the aforementioned Tarantino to the forgotten Jason Patric starrer The Beast (aka The Beast of War) to Saving Private Ryan.

David Ayer finally extracts himself from the modern setting of LA Based gang and police warfare into a historical setting. And doing so has also elevated his skills as a director and writer.

The film is beautifully shot and has a strong music score (if at times a bit over-whelming). But it’s a strong piece of work for a mature audience about just how down and dirty war can be with any shred of innocence left muddied and hard pressed into the dirt like many of the bodies that we see trampled by tanks in this movie.

4 Stars

 

 

 

Steven Hurst


editor