Americans Pitt-ed against the Germans
Good news! Sam Whitwicky isn’t in this movie. Unlike most people I actually enjoyed the Transformers movies but I can totally understand why people find Shia Labeouf annoying.
That typecast role of the fast talking, geek-chic adulteen is so far removed from the role he plays in this film that you will easily forget that it really is him in the movie… After all he has a moustache!
Now that fear has been put to bed on with the rest of the film. Fury is actually the name of the tank operated by Don Collier (Brad Pitt), Boyd Swan (Shia Labeouf), Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal), Trinidad Garcia (Michael Peña) and a new recruit Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman). Realistically that should sell you on this movie alone.
It opens up like it’s a film based on real life events although immediately it offends my British sensibilities by stating that the Americans had suffered huge losses at the hands of the Germans almost as if they were the only two countries involved in the second world war.
Still, that soon passes and we are treated to a rather gritty portrayal of the war. I mean this film really doesn’t pull any punches when it comes to violence and gore but in my opinion it leans too heavily on shock value and not enough on the emotional trauma of loosing friends and countrymen. Death is dealt with in a fleeting moment of heads or legs exploding and an ‘oh well, on to the next dude’.
That said the films main focus isn’t so much about the set pieces – although these are thrilling in themselves – as it is the camaraderie within the tank itself. You might think that a film that has 70% of its footage filmed in or on a tank might get boring very quickly but there is variation and a decent enough pacing to avoid this. Furthermore it is clear that the cast spent a long time together as the chemistry between them is really good.
The stars of the film are unquestionably Shia Labeouf as the quiet god fearing gunner, Logan Lerman as the new recruit who is forced into the cruelties of war and Jon Bernthal as the token abrasive redneck.
Whilst the character traits of these three are beautifully realised it is often hard to hear the dialogue. Partly because of canons and gunfire but partly because Jon Bernthal’s accent is thicker than organic peanut butter.
The subtext of Logan Lerman’s initiation in to the rest of the crew’s clique is an interesting one and for the most part it’s believable as Brad Pitt mentors and fathers the green recruit. This plot device is a little rushed though because at the end of the film he has lost any semblance of his past conscience and is merrily gunning down the enemy with gay abandon.
By the end of the film you are desensitised to seeing people’s heads popping but that isn’t the endings only downfall. The whole film is set out to be like that of a true story yet the final battle is like something out of Commando as the squad mows down Nazis by the hundreds whilst being as bulletproof as James Bond. It’s too much.
When you mix that with some shoddy dialogue: “I want to surrender”, “Please don’t. They’ll hurt you real bad, and they’ll kill you real bad” the ending becomes a bit of a disappointment but not enough to make you… furious… that you paid money to sit through it in the first place.
- Shia Moustachioed Man
- Tank battles are well done
- Good chemistry between actors
- Gore for the sake of gore
- Hollywood ending doesn’t match the rest of the film
- “Hurt de gurr harp durp” – Nope couldn’t understand that line.