Monday, 3 November 2014

Film: 'Fury'

Almost relentlessly grim, frequently ultra-violent, and ultimately exhausting, mud-coloured tale of a tank unit of five led by (usually) equable-tempered Brad Pitt, who seems to have an invisible shield around him to deflect bullets, shrapnel and flying debris.

The scene is Germany 1945 (it's actually filmed in England) with the Nazis almost on their last legs, though with superior panzer power and sheer desperation on their side, giving all they've got to the survival of their 'Vaterland'.

To Wardaddy's (Pitt's) dismay he has callow, bible-scrupled Shia la Beouf seconded to his unit, less than two months in the army and incapable of shooting anyone at all, even under orders.
Much of the film is set in the claustrophobic tank (nicknamed 'Fury') with crew getting in each others way and barking at each other, including predictably crude humour.

The only respite from the actions of tank advance interrupted by gory visions of warfare, is a significantly prolonged central scene when Pitt and La Beouf enter a house to find two youngish, German, non-English speaking women. (Pitt speaks a modicum of German here as well as in patches elsewhere). The two Americans try to gain the nervous women's respect until, a few minutes later, the rest of the tank unit arrive..........

It's a well-made film. No quarrel at all with the effects which were totally convincing to me. But as to having light and shade, there was virtually none. Although the violence (all of it being the effects of warfare), is very graphic, none of those shots of killing and maiming are lingered over.
Occasionally the heavy, sombre music did get in the way, and I found some of the depictions of the German soldiers barely avoiding tipping over into being hackneyed.

Acting was good and, though it might pain me just a little to say it, the honours go to LaBouef who really nails the portrayal of his green, reluctantly-serving character. Pitt played his superman persona much as one would expect. I'd also single out Michael Pena as the Mexican-born member of the tank crew.
Direction by David Ayer was all one could wish for.

It's not a film I can say I enjoyed - it wasn't intended to be one of those. It's a gruelling journey, but if you like a generous quota of blood and guts, this will supply it for you.
Current average IMDb score exceeds 8. My personal rating is...................6.


  1. Replies
    1. Fair enough, J.G. It's very much a 'tabloid press' kind of pic.

  2. Ray,
    I'll pass on this film. I prefer my films to be entertainment and I don't consider enormous displays of blood and guts entertainment although I do realize some folks go to the movies for that very reason. Not I. Also, I am sick to death of Brad Pitt. Are there non other "Superman" actors? And I'm not talking Ben Afleck who I hears is having his problems hiding his flab from his latest movie venture, "Batman."

    1. I was thinking of your previous statements out Mr Pitt as I watched this, Ron, so I'm not surprised to hear you reprise them
      I suppose this film caters for those who crave a bitingly visceral experience and in that it succeeds. But, like you, I hardly count it as 'entertainment' that justifies paying out good money.
      Going back to B.P.. I think he's in danger of getting typecast as goody-goody, even if he plays a character with foibles. I think he's a good enough actor, but there's always an air of 'I know it all' about him. I think Affleck, at least, may be more multi-talented (referring to his recent commendable directing effort). But yes, there are plenty of lesser-knowns who could fill Pitt's role in this one - but then the problem would be it lacking someone who draws in the money - LaBeouf now being a bit of a liability in come circles.