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So as you know, I stopped writing lengthy reviews on this site this year, keeping the blog as more of a film diary of sorts.  Lo and behold,...

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Movie Review - Fury

Fury (2014)
Starring Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal
Directed by David Ayer

April 1945 -- less than six months until the end of WWII.  The Allies are making one final push into Germany in order to bring an end to Hitler.  Throughout the war, it had become evident that German tanks were infinitely superior to the Allied machinery, but with nothing else in their arsenal, the Allies were still forced to fight using their inferior warcraft.  Fury follows the story of one tank crew detailing several small-scale (though intense and life-threatening) battles as they continue their mission to end the Nazi's reign.

Director and screenwriter David Ayer creates a tense atmosphere throughout which is a bit surprising seeing as how Fury feels as if it's 80% battle sequences -- a notion that could easily wear thin (and does for a tiny bit during its first act), but ends up being surprisingly effective.  The film's final lengthy stand-off is easily the best battle scene and while not entirely realistic, it does a fantastic job at conveying the horrors of close combat warfare so evident in WWII.

Unfortunately, Ayer doesn't quite succeed in creating well-rounded, non-stereotypical characters.  Pitt as Don "Wardaddy" Collier is the leader of the tank quintet that we find ourselves focusing on and while he does a perfectly adequate job, I felt very little attachment to him and that's the fault of the script moreso than anything else.  Similarly, Logan Lerman plays the young, new-to-battle Norman and all the typical characteristics are present for him -- always nervous, unwilling to kill, quiet, the requisite vomiting shot when he sees something disgusting.  It's all there.  The film attempts to create a bond between Collier and Norman and while it somewhat successfully does so thanks to a moving scene in which duo invade the apartment of two German women, the teacher/student relationship between these two didn't flourish the way I would've liked.  Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal make up the rest of the crew and while all seemingly give realistic portrayals of war torn soldiers, I wasn't swept up by their plight.

While I'd typically find this lack of connection a somewhat major problem, the other elements of the film create enough of a positive effect that I'm able to overlook these character flaws a bit.  Fury provides an engaging look at an aspect of war that isn't typically filmed and for that it deserves a bit of credit despite its shortcomings.

The RyMickey Rating:  B-

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