Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Fury (2014)

When I think of Brad Pitt in a WWII film, what immediately comes to mind is that one scene in 'Inglorious Basterds' where his character is trying (and failing miserably) to be Italian:

The trouble is, that scene kept coming to mind as I was watching this film. It didn't ruin anything, I just thought I'd start with a random/irrelevant detail about my viewing experience of 'Fury'. Anyway...

This latest offering from David Ayer trades law enforcement (Ayer's usual go-to subject) for a WWII tank crew. It basically follows them over a short time period towards the end of the war in Europe as the Allies slowly progress across Germany. The crew consists of leader Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal. I would like to give names, but I couldn't really remember them. The only one whose name I do remember was Norman, the fresh recruit played by Logan Lerman, who has yet to learn about the horrors of war.

The plot is straight-forward and unsurprising (aybe there would have been more surprises had it not all been in the trailer) and is more focused on the fighting (which you get to see - this is a different type of tank film than the Israeli film 'Lebanon' - which is set entirely in the tank until the last minute) than the characters. Which is probably for the best, as the characters weren't the most appealing bunch and the only reason you'd be backing them is because they're not the Nazis. At the same time, maybe that was part of the point of the film (even if it tries to give the impression we're meant to feel something towards the characters).

Where the film does gain points is with some of the action and its brutal depiction of the conflict. These are the areas where Ayer can get away with his lack of subtlety. Excluding the climactic battle (which is all smoke and darkness), the battles are interesting to watch with some nice details here and there. I wouldn't call the tense (if it all hadn't been in the trailer, then it might have had more of an effect), but they kept my attention and helped make the film an easy watch.

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