Director: David Ayer
Starring: Brad Pitt, Jon Bernthal, Michael Peña, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Isaacs
Brad Pitt has a new hairstyle in Fury, and it’s fantastic! Yet that isn’t the only thing going for David Ayer’s World War 2 movie almost entirely set in a Tank. The film is by no means perfect, but, much like its big and brutal tanks, really packs a punch. It’s possibly one of the most enjoyable Second World War Hollywood blockbusters since Spielberg’s Saving Private Ryan.
Set in Germany, in April 1945, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew: Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis (Jon Bernthal), Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia (Michael Peña), who are later joined by rookie, and frankly unready, soldier Norman ‘Machine’ Ellison (Logan Lerman). Wardaddy has to lead his crew on a life-threatening mission into enemy territory. Out-numbered and severely outgunned, they face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
David Ayer’s film is at its best when the camera is focused on the heart of the action. Every scene involving Wardaddy and his five man crew in battle, inside the Sherman tank (which becomes a principal character in itself), is utterly riveting. Each battle is brilliantly directed, wonderfully choreographed, and really gives the viewer of being part of the gruesome action.
Best job I ever had!
Each actor gives it their all; Bernthal, Peña, Lerman and, surprisingly, Shia LaBeouf are all exceptional and well cast in Fury, but this film is all about the big man; Brad Pitt. He is the main man both in the tank and onscreen and totally warrants the slightly ridiculous name of ‘Wardaddy’; however, at some points, his portrayal of Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglorious Bastards does pop into one’s mind. That said, Brad Pitt is still an undeniably awe-inspiring screen presence – despite not a single perfectly coiffed hair falling out of place throughout the whole film.
Unfortunately Fury isn’t without its faults. There are certain scenes that ruin the flow of the film slightly – watch out for a moment involving eggs and a topless Pitt which made me really wonder about Ayer’s ability to write female characters accurately.
Moreover, the bullets which flash across screen seem to resemble the red and green lights spewing from the laser blasters in the Star Wars franchise. Yet on further investigation, it just so happens that they were a particular type of bullet used near the end of the war, in order to make it easier to see them at night. It still looks slightly odd cinematically and difficult to get one’s head around.
That said, Fury is a remarkably enjoyable, intense and brutal war film, something we haven’t seen for a while. It is at its best when it focuses on the five men in a tank, going about their everyday lives, striving to survive in the harshest and most brutal of environments; WAR!