Fury: Movie Review

Attributes: Movie Reviews

Director: David Ayer
Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia Lebeouf, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Logan Lerman

“Fury” takes place in the waning days of World War II, but as a film it’s stuck somewhere between the present and the past — between the gung-ho platitudes of every WWII movie before 1996’s “Saving Private Ryan” and the chaos and carnage of every WWII movie since. As Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, the battle-scarred leader of a tank squad pushing through Germany towards Berlin, Brad Pitt creates a warrior who is terse, sometimes noble, more often brutal. The movie as a whole tries to balance the standard veneration of the Greatest Generation with an acknowledgement that what war does to men is the opposite of great. You could call it “Glorious Bastards” and you wouldn't be far off.

The other members of the crew are the tank’s scripture-quoting gunner, Corporal Boyd 'Bible' Swan (Shia LeBeouf, quietly effective); its country-boy assistant gunner, Private Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis (Jon Bernthal); and its Hispanic driver, Technician Trini 'Gordo' Garcia (Michael Peña) and their new recruitee Private Norman 'Machine' Ellison (Logan Lerman)

We are also shown some interesting aspects to Wardaddy’s character in the initial set-up.  Fleeting glimpses of vulnerability show a man struggling to cope with the hardship of being a stern faced leader amongst the horrors war. Early on, we see Wardaddy give a stern-faced team talk to his troop, before taking refuge behind a vehicle, as he struggles emotionally to hold it together, before having to put the Wardaddy mask back on. These moments show a hidden depth, but again, it is never explored any further.

The big innovations in "Fury" are its scenes of tank combat, and its exploration of the moral and spiritual damage to the veteran tank crew, who have been through just about every armoured engagement in the war, mutating into something that would probably have a great deal of difficulty working back into civilian society.  One gets the distinct impression most of them don't really expect to go home, so they don't worry about it, or even talk about it all that much.

Issues certainly lie within the films writing, the same cannot be said for its cast. Each member smashes their role in five utterly flawless performances. Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal all present diverse and complex characters in their own right, and while the writing might not offer a deeper look at these complexities, the portrayals on-screen are truly mesmerising and ultimately hold it all together.

All in all, it is an incredibly striking and unvarnished visual deconstruction of war and for the same, I give it 3.5 Shors on 5. Cheers.

Tags: Fury, Fury Movie Review, English Movie Review, Hollywood Movie Review

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