Film Review: Fury

This review was originally published in the Central Western Daily on Tuesday 28th October 2014.

Fury is not so much a film to enjoy as it is a film to experience. Just as our protagonist Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is thrust from the army typing pool into the frontline role of tank gunner after only eight weeks service, so too is the audience catapulted into the brutality of war. It is April, 1945 and US forces are making inroads into a Nazi Germany that is determined to fight to the bitter end.

Writer and director David Ayer (Training Day, End of Watch) keeps the mood intense and claustrophobic, both inside the tank and out. Using a bleak palette of grey and green, there is something unworldly about the shattered landscapes of war torn Germany which only highlights the inhuman acts that Norman witnesses both on and off the battlefield.

Ayer has assembled a superb cast as the crew of Fury, a US Sherman Tank. The talented Logan Lerman (The Perks of Being a Wallflower) makes a convincing rookie who, through the influence of his crew, transforms into a soldier capable of gunning down Nazis by the dozen. Brad Pitt is US Army Staff Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, a battle hardened leader who bullies and manipulates his crew to get results, but when left alone has moments where it becomes clear that his scars are not just physical. Rounding out the crew are John Bernthal (TV’s The Walking Dead), Ayers alumni John Peña (TV’s Gracepoint) and Shia LaBeouf. Although his offscreen antics might not make him an audience favourite, there is no doubt that LaBeouf isn’t acting, he is inhabiting. I’m not sure who would win in a competition to determine who in this film is the deepest in character: Pitt or LaBeouf.

Ayers keeps the tension up with death potentially lurking behind every corner. The four versus one tank battle is tremendous and dispels the movie myth which sees tanks explode with a minimum of damage.

An effective but still inferior companion piece to Saving Private Ryan, the carnage depicted in Fury will stay with you long after the light come up.

Published in: on November 20, 2014 at 17:15  Leave a Comment  
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