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Saturday, November 29, 2014

Movie Review Fury Starring Brad Pitt

The first twenty minutes of "Fury" I really thought we were going to get a unique war film that skips over all the cliche. The opening moments of Fury were all filth and misery. A world where the shattered souls of grizzled soldiers just live a moment at a time and ruled by their own laws and moral ambiguity. I felt we'd get  war film where all of the "Hey Joe where in this together" heroics of right versus wrong are absent.

Unfortunately after the first twenty minutes of the 133 minute long Fury, I realized this this was a highly flawed film. Let's look at some:

There is no plot other than five guys in a tank driving around during the late stages of WWII German  getting shot at and doing a ton of killing as well. OK, admittedly I don't always need another Private Ryan 'mission' film but it would be nice to know where we are going in this flick.  Fury feels like a 133 minute intro to a film, rather than a complete film.

Just as maddening the film, um, "borrows" old ideas from other war films, like......

-The new kid. Early in the film the  driver is killed. He is a veteran and respected by the other men in the tank. Who replaces the driver?  A boyish looking young kid who was an army typist. Really? You can guess the rest. His first battle he is unable to kill another man resulting in other respected tankers getting killed causing the other men to hate him. Of course, eventually the young man gets his moxie, slaughters some Germans and then the guys start to love him.  This may happen in war but by God do we have to rip off Black Hawk Down (another typist but without the grim consequences), Platoon (not a typist but another new kid who freezes and gets 'good guys' killed), and Saving Private Ryan (total rip off, typist/translator who totally gets good guys killed)?

-The diverse group. We've got the religious guy (Sheia LaBeouf), the boorish hick (Jon Berenthal), the jaded but sympathetic leader (Brad Pitt), the Hispanic guy (Michael Pena) and the inexperienced boy (Logan Lerman) whose cultural backgrounds all seem to rub each other the wrong way but in the end it's still I love you man. Every war film seems to have this quality. The only thing unique here is the Hispanic guy. I hardly even see any in war films, maybe never in a World War Two film. Kudos to Fury for representing this race. We had to graduate to the Vietnam war's "Platoon" to see a US Latino soldier. Then again, Fury writer / director David Ayers probably was watching Platoon as he penned this film.

-The love scene. There's kind of a love scene in this film.  It takes entirely too long and doesn't fit the film at all. Plus, and I'm going way back here,  I've seen this scene almost to a tee in All Quiet on The Western Front.

-The climatic battle scene. Don't start crying spoiler yet, what is a war film with out a climatic battle in the end? I mean all war films have them... all... war... films.... all of them...every single one.  So is that so bad?  Well, it at least could have been unique. Think Private Ryan and that's how it pretty much, I mean very much, ends. 

But I loved how Private Ryan ends! Right? Well, at least Ryan's ending was an against all odds plausible, thought out brawl. It felt like it could have happened. Fury's final fight was an unnecessary, implausible 300 Germans versus 5 Americans in a tank that can't run. If you see the film you'll probably ask how the frig did putting a dead, burned, German body on the front of the American tank make it look less harmless ?  Ooops.... spoiler? Nah. I'm throwing a burned up, dead dude on my Honda and never getting a speeding ticket again.

I'm going on too long here. I do have to say that the acting was pretty good in spite of not having any story to prop itself up on.  Jon Berenthal shows that he has acting skills beyond The Walking Dead and Shia LeBeouf is solid as the bible thumping solder. Pitt almost does a heck of a job too, if only the director of the film could have asked him not to copy his Inglorious Bastards role, then again Ayers probably liked that film too.

The setting and costumes looked to be perfect for that period. Though decent acting and scenery don't mean much in a film with nothing else.

Want More War - Check Out Review of 300

Want Some Rock and Roll Instead - Lemmy Movie Review

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