Published on October 17th, 2014 | by Ryan Guerra0
To start, let me say that I’m a sucker for a good war movie. Growing up as a military brat, I have a profound respect for our nation’s veterans and history, especially those from the “greatest generation.” With that said, I approached David Ayer’s Fury with a bit of hesitation, after all, how will Fury be able to differentiate itself from so many other films in the genre? I am happy to say that, while Fury doesn’t show us anything we have not really seen before, strong performances by its ensemble cast help carry this story of a tank crew into a solid film.
Brad Pitt delivers a stellar performance as Don “Wardaddy” Collier. He is a war hardened Sergeant who struggles to keep the few shreds of his humanity while preparing his new “green” typist who was assigned to his tank after one of their battle brothers has fallen. Pitt takes the young Pvt. Norman Ellision (Logan Lerman) under his command and works to make him into war hardened soldier. Pitt knows that by doing so he will not only to save the young man’s life, but probably the lives of the other men in his care. This ensemble cast shines with solid performances from Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal and Shia LaBeouf. I want to take a moment to highlight LaBeouf especially. He has gained tons of negative press in recent months for several reasons and the promotion of this film has shown little of LaBeouf thus far. No doubt to protect itself from the backlash in his public life. But if you decide to not go and see this film because of him, you will miss out on a strong more dramatic performance we really haven’t seen from him often and one that will remind audiences that he is a good actor.
This action in this film is methodical and someone slow and somewhat cartoonish thanks to tracers on the gun and cannon fire that makes it look like “Star Wars” at times, however the intensity is constantly building from the opening sequence through the climax of the movie. Even in the middle of the film where we are seemingly in a safe place, the intensity is continues to build as we are unsure just how humane these characters are. This intensity leads us to care about these characters and search for relief in the climatic conclusion.
4 stars out of 5
Second Review by Neil Jordan
Greetings And Salutations Fellow Movie Viewers!
Fall is most definitely here …. and the holiday movie season is NOT too far off. That doesn’t mean there won’t be any good movies that hit theaters soon, they’ll just be few and far between until then. Speaking of ‘the good movies’ I’ve got one for you. The latest Brad Pitt film. Personally, I’ve been somewhat annoyed with Brad since he presented the monstrosity that was ‘World War Z’. I’m NOT a fan of zombies or zombie films to begin with. I’ll admit I was a fan of the book, but like most movie adaptions of books, ‘World War Z’ didn’t live up to the book in any way, shape, or form in my mind. It was good action film, but that’s it. However, this latest film with an ensemble cast including Mr. Pitt has MORE than made up for it.
It’s been a few years since a good war film was made …. Of course, we all remember Quentin Tarantino’s WWII film ‘Inglorious Bastards’ starring Brad Pitt. This time around though, the film is a bit more serious ….. More ‘Saving Private Ryan’ if you will ….
‘Fury’, set to hit theaters in the U.S. on Friday October 17th, takes place on the Western European front during the final month of World War II. As the Allied Powers continue to fight their way into the heart of Nazi Germany, German resistance becomes more fanatical as what little remains of the German Army and the SS resort to more desperate measures to make victory more costly for the Allies. The film focuses on veteran U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Don Collier AKA Wardaddy (Pitt) and the battle-hardened crew of his M4A3E8 Sherman tank nicknamed “Fury” as they are sent behind enemy lines to attack the German Army before they can stage a counterattack against the Allies. Cut off from Allied Forces and with the German Army closing in, the crew of “Fury” continue to fight heroically against overwhelming forces of the enemy in their attempt to deal a crippling blow to Nazi Germany.
Written and directed by David Ayer (Training Day, The Fast and the Furious, U-571, End of Watch) and starring Brad Pitt, Jason Isaacs, Shia LeBeouf, Michael Pena, Scott Eastwood, Jon Bernthal, Eugenia Kuzmina, Stella Stocker, Xavier Samuel, Brad William Henke, and Logan Lerman … ‘Fury’ is in my mind a ‘fictional yet, accurate, and serious depiction of war’. The film isn’t candy-coated in any way. Like many war films, it’s grim and dark. You almost question if the ‘good guys’ can actually win despite knowing the actual course of history outside the movie. The actors and actresses in the film are ‘serious’ throughout. Many whom have that 1,000 yard stare that people in war seem to take on once they’ve seen ‘too much’ whether they’re military or civilian. Even when there are brief moments of levity in the film, the film stays serious. I know what you’re thinking in reference to Shia LeBeouf’s role in the film. Don’t concern yourself. His role in the movie as one of the soldiers in ‘Fury’s crew is sane and solid. Jason Isaacs deserves major kudos as well. You don’t even recognize him in the film. The American accent, the worn/burned-out look in his eyes …. I only hits you about halfway through the movie that it’s actually him. And of course, Brad Pitt’s acting in the movie is top notch. His role as the man who holds his crew together while doing everything possible to take the fight to the enemy and get his crew out alive in one piece at the same time while keeping his own sanity … That alone is worth seeing the movie.
The accuracy of the film in reference to the time should be noted as well. No ‘prop tanks’ were used in the film either. The tanks from the Sherman’s to the Tiger 1 depicted are real tanks, some of which saw action during WWII. I would consider it one of the better war films made in the last 20 years. Definitely the first one in a good long while seen from the point-of-view of the soldiers who crewed tanks. Honestly, next to ‘Fury’ the last World War II tank movie I can remember watching starred Humphrey Bogart.
I personally enjoyed the film. I don’t know if i’d pay full price to see it, but I would most definitely catch the matinee or via online means such as NetFlix. Again, it’s like most war films … Quite grim and lasts quite a while. ‘Fury’ itself clocks in at 134 minutes. Still, it’s more than worth seeing if you’re a fan of Brad Pitt, movies by the director David Ayer, a fan of war movies, or all of the above. I’m going to give it 4 out of 5 stars. The tag line for the movie pretty much sums it up in the end ….. “War Never Ends Quietly” ……
This is your friendly neighborhood freelance photographer ‘The CameraMan’ signing off. On behalf of my fellows at ‘Skewed & Reviewed’ thanks for reading and we’ll see you at the movies ….