Friday 28 November 2014

Fury (2014)

I share my thoughts on the World War Two tank focused drama, directed by David Ayer and starring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peṅa and Jon Bernthal.

It is 1945, April, and the Second World War is entering its closing stages. The war itself is reaching the heartland of Germany and the resistance is becoming more and more desperate. And to make matters worse, The Germans have more advanced tanks than the American invaders, making things difficult. For the troops on the ground, with the dead piling up, things certainly aren’t looking as though they’re winning the war.

This film, rather than focusing on the epic scale of the war, zooms in and looks at the adventures of a five-man tank crew, lead by Brad Pitt’s Don “WarDaddy” Collier, and it isn’t long before they’re forced into a mission behind enemy lines. Not only are they hopelessly outnumbered and outgunned, but they also have to deal with an inexperienced new recruit, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), who has never seen conflict before.

War films are a genre that I enjoy watching quite a lot. I loved Saving Private Ryan and going further back The Great Escape is probably one of my favourite films of all time.  There’s a lot of topics that can be tackled with war, but I’ve never seen a tank-centric drama before, with most World War Two films focusing primarily on the foot soldiers. It turns out that Fury is a different kind of beast, and whilst there are some similar elements and there’s nothing too drastically different or unique (You will have no doubt seen the plot a dozen times before) but the way it’s executed, you won’t be able to stop watching.

David Ayer is maybe not a household name, but he’s certainly been putting out nothing but good movies lately. End of Watch, also featuring Michael Peṅa, was one of my favourite movies of 2012, and with Fury it has pretty made it 100% certain that I’m going to be seeing his upcoming Suicide Squad, focusing on various villains in the DC Universe. Beyond Suicide Squad, it’s certainly got me invested in any films that Ayer can give us going forward. He’s a great director, and even given the rather clichéd portrayal of the characters and plot it’s a good credit to him that he’s able to pull it off so well.

There’s no doubt about it, Fury is violent. There are several gory scenes and grim, uncompromising scenarios as Ayer drags you through a pretty intense experience. It’s not for the faint of heart, and it’s great to see that Ayer is capable of pulling everything off as well as he did. The look and feel of the film is amazing, with some great attention to detail put into giving this film an extra layer of depth.

The cast itself is also impressive. I was kind of put off by the film when it featured Pitt, Lerman and LaBeouf, three actors who I’m not the greatest fans of (LeBeouf especially I tend to avoid films with him in where possible) but as it turns out, my doubts were quickly put aside. Pitt pulled off a great performance as Don Collier, with Lerman also impressing. The biggest surprise was perhaps LaBeouf, who put in a performance that was better than expected.

Fury then, is probably one of the better war movies that I’ve seen and one of the best movies of the year so far as well. Whilst it’s unlikely to draw people in who tend to avoid war movies where possible, for those that can tolerate them this film is a must see. It’s very good, and even though it’s clichéd in parts, that shouldn’t really put you off.


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