‘Fury’ poses this question – ‘is there anything new to be told about World War 2?’ A fair point as hundreds of movies set during that period attest. By ‘Fury’s’ conclusion the answer would be no with exceptions. We all know war is hell and the camaraderie of the soldiers is as expected. Behind this war-time formula lays a good movie with the imagery more powerful than the human drama.
U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt) grapples every mission with zeal. His most lethal comes in April 1945 – the dying days of World War Two. Tasked with leading a final push into Nazi Germany, he commandeers a Sherman tank nicknamed ‘Fury’. With his five-man crew including Boyd (Shia LaBeouf) and Norman (Logan Lerman), Collier aims to finally defeat his long-time enemies with powerful force.
Avoiding any flag-waving jingoism, ‘Fury’ mostly captivates. The thrust of the drama revolves around the Collier’s crew. Each with personal demons and reactions to the atrocities they witness. Unfortunately their personalities have little time to fully develop. This fault is due to David Ayer’s unfocussed direction. Seemingly happy to pause at blood-shed and battle sequences, he never truly draws out any much needed powerful emotions.
Ayer’s biggest strength is his handling of visuals. The amazing depth of cinematography Ayer utilises to good effect. From stark and eerie daytime scenes to the menacing nights, he successfully conjures Nazi Germany’s brutal surrounds. Aided by some excellently staged action scenes, the feel of being in the heat of war is palatable. The cast do a fair job despite their one-dimensional roles with Pitt most successful in portraying a dedicated but emotionally wounded soldier.
If you’ve seen dozens of war movies, you’ll know what to anticipate. Despite some intense moments, ‘Fury’ never fully realises the potential of the true story. Whether any other World War 2 movie can add a new wrinkle to the genre is a question to be left answered for another day.
Movie Review Rating out of 10: 6
Movie Review by Patrick Moore
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