Fury (2014)

Fury

Director: David Ayer

Writer: David Ayer

Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, Jon Bernthal, Jim Parrack, Brad William Henke, Kevin Vance, Xavier Samuel, Jason Isaacs, Anamaria Marinca, Alicia von Rittberg, Scott Eastwood, Laurence Spellman, Daniel Betts

Synopsis: 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.

MPAA Rating: Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout

Stevennix2001's Rating:

8.5 / 10

Pros:

- Great cinematography shots that make the viewer feel like they're right in the action, as it works to create an intense atmosphere.

- Most of the acting was good; in spite of how poorly written the characters were.

- David Ayers does a great job directing this, and his writing isn't that bad either; outside of the character progressions.

- Great action scenes

- Elaborate settings

Cons:

- The characters are fairly forgettable, as most of the supporting ones lack any kind of distinctive personality traits outside of quirks.

- Shia LaBeouf's Texas accent is obliviously fake, as you can tell that's not his natural voice.

Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.

Unlike most war movies that try to maintain a sense of idealism and national pride, "Fury" shows that war isn't something to be taken likely. While ideals can be beautiful, the reality is war itself is a violent place. History is violent, where only the strong survive and the weak perish. Sure, it's nice to believe that war is about fighting for what's right, and that we're the good guys taking out the bad guys. However, is it really that simple?

Is war nothing more than a generic "good" vs. "evil" story arc? And if that's the case, then how do we know we're even fighting right side of it? Who says we're any different than the enemies we fight out on the battlefield? What if there was no sentimentality, or national pride involved? Is there such a thing as honor and glory in war? What if war was nothing more than a barbaric mentality of killing the enemy before they have a chance to kill you?

"Fury" is a war film in ilk of "Inglourious Basterds", where it shows protagonists fighting against the Nazi army during World War II. And like "Inglourious Basterds", "Fury" shows the ugliness and harsh bitterness of war. Showing how both sides are capable of cruelty and savagery. However, that's where the similarities end. Where "Inglourious Basterds" was told in a satirical sort of way that only the warped mind of Quentin Tarantino could provide, David Ayer tells the story of "Fury" with a more direct approach. Think of the infamous classic, "The Dirty Dozen", if it were remade to take place on a battlefield in Nazi Germany, as our colorful cast of characters fight inside a tank.

Don't get me wrong, I'm certainly not comparing "Fury" to any of the previously named movies; particularly "The Dirty Dozen." However, it does come pretty damn close to being up there in terms of quality.

The story follows a young man named Norman (Logan Lerman), who was originally recruited into the army as an administrative assistant. Due to the severe casualties, he's transferred to serve on the front line. Needless to say, Don 'Wardaddy' Collier (Brad Pitt) isn't all that happy to be getting Norman in his unit, who happens to be wet behind the ears when it comes to actual combat situations. However, Norman soon learns that ideals and morality have no place in war, as history is a violent place.

It's kill or be killed once you enter that battlefield. There is no mercy, or any room for mistakes here. Norman learns all this mighty quick. Although it's fairly obvious he's no killer, and it pains him inside to have to resort to this level of violence to stay alive. However, it's amazing how war can corrupt even the purest of souls. Maybe war isn't a place for good men to share ideals. Perhaps war is nothing more than a wasteland meant for scumbags of the Earth to kill each other violently over ideals. Or perhaps, war is nothing more than a test of survival. Men pitted against a situation they didn't ask to be in, yet they give up their lives willingly to fight.

"Fury" doesn't pull any punches when it comes to the brutality of war, as it seems David Ayer wanted this movie to depict the pure violence of war itself. Everything from the gory deaths to the intense battle scenes, you can't help but feel horrified by it all. The filtered cinematography shots capture not only the harsh brutality of war, but it manages to make the audience feel like they're right in the action with the main characters.

Indeed, it seems David Ayer does a tremendous job orchestrating an epic war film that'll not only have audiences at the edge of their seats, but one that they won't soon forget. Although the script seems fairly decent, some of the characters seem to lack definitive personality traits; which makes most of them rather forgettable. Instead, Ayer elects to give most of them quirks, to help define most of the supporting characters.

Sure, there's a few moments here and there that'll give some depth to them. For instance. You have a rather touching scene that involves both Norman and Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis (Jon Bernthal), where Grady apologizes to Norman for being such a jerk to him earlier. Granted, the scene does give Grady a bit more depth beyond being the crazy stupid a**hole of the group, but it's not enough to where you ever walk away with a sense of who he is as a character. If anything, you never get a sense who any of these characters are individually; with the notable exception of Norman of course.

Sure, you do root for them during this movie, but if you were to ask me to define the supporting characters' personalities, then I wouldn't know what to tell you. Heck, Norman isn't even that interesting of a character either, as he mainly comes off as bland half the time.

As for the acting, everyone seemed to play their parts rather well. Brad Pitt brought a great deal of quite dignity to his role, and I enjoyed Logan Lerman's performance quite a bit; in spite of how poorly written his character was.

However, that's not to say all the actors were perfect. The Texas accent by Shia LaBeouf seemed a bit off, as it's fairly obvious that it's fake. Thankfully, it never ruins the film because he's not the focus of the story. But whenever he talks, you can tell he's not using his natural voice.

Overall, "Fury" may not be the best war epic that I've ever seen, but it's definitely worth checking out if you haven't already. Unlike most war films, "Fury" doesn't hold back on showing the sheer brutality and horror of war. In fact, I wouldn't recommend this film to anyone that's too sensitive to cussing, gore and violence. However, if you can look past the gory scenes, then you'll be in for a fairly entertaining movie experience unlike any other.

© 2014 Steven Escareno

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