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Fury

David Ayer, 2014



Remember in Inglourious Basterds, where the Third Reich come together to watch the latest Joseph Goebbels production, "Nation's Pride"? Think of that film, Nazi propaganda that sees it's 'hero' Frederick Voller against-the-odds defeat over a hundred of his enemies whilst being trapped in a 'bird's nest', then replace Voller with five American soldiers, and their enemies into Nazis, and you pretty much have Fury.

A one note film with the simplest of plots, I am struggling to understand just why this has been met with a largely positive reaction from both audiences and critics. If you simply want to see two hours of Americans killing Germans, you might get something out of this, but if you want anything else, you'll be disappointing. The film lacks (almost) any kind of morality or human balance that make the most powerful war pieces so fascinating and aside from Logan Lerman's young character, each other member of the tank 'Fury' are lazily constructed caricatures that give you no reason to empathise or feel any kind of emotion towards, in fact, for most of the part they are quite despicable.

When the film does hint at something more than being a relentless and barbaric slaughter picture, the moments feel out of place, too little and too late. Brad Pitt's character hints at something more, but we never get to see it. I have heard many praise the dynamics of the members of Fury, but I can tell you for sure I would not like to spend time around these men. The films self serious tone makes the comedy hard to take, and quite frankly, insulting rather than fun. These characters act like they are just that - characters, and their 'coolness', their machismo personalities, make them painful to bear.

Killing Nazi's, drinking alcohol and f*cking women is all these characters seem to care about, it's all they are on screen to do. If it is supposed to be a buddy movie, it fails. As the film drives towards its conclusion, the ending becomes fully predictable long before it occurs. Then, probably just about the two hour mark, a scene takes place that feels so empty, a cop out that goes against the entire movie, that makes you sit there and shake your head in disbelief.

As for the positives? In terms of cinematography and the production of the film as a whole, everything is top notch, it looks like a quality and very well made war film, it is just a shame the content does not match up. Shia LaBeouf is not as irritating as you might expect him to be, probably because of the other also unlikable characters. And the end credit sequence, a strange red coloured montage of what looks like archived war footage (again, strangely out of place) is quite enjoyable.

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