Movie Review: Fury
It’s been a while since I’ve seen a movie while it was still in theatres and still fresh enough to deserve a review. But, last weekend Loretta and I saw Fury
It wasn’t just me that was completely drawn into the movie. I make a habit out of watching other peoples’ reactions when I go to the theatre and every time I looked at someone else they were literally on the edge of their seats. Fury combines amazing directing with solid acting and really immerses the viewer into the story. Sure, there are flaws, but they aren’t so glaring that you don’t find yourself wanting more.
There are three things that make or break a film for me; the casting/acting, the cinematography, and the directing. And while Fury was great on all fronts, it was the directing that truly set it apart for me. I mean, what else would you expect out of the writer of U-571 (imdb.com), End of Watch (imdb.com), and Training Day (imdb.com); and director of Street Kings (imdb.com) and End of Watch. David Ayer (imdb.com) has made a brilliant career out of incorporating intense character emotion and grit into his films and making the audience connect with them on a level that goes beyond just “watching a movie.” If you can imagine the rough and tumble characters of End of Watch and Training Day mixing together with U-571 then you’ll get a pretty good idea of what it feels like to watch Fury.
The second part of making a story believable and enticing is the characters. Whether or not the characters work is completely dependent on how they’re portrayed. Fury stars some brilliant actors that have really come into their own as artists. Namely, Brad Pitt (imdb.com) and Shia LaBeouf (imdb.com). Both actors have done a LOT of films that I can’t stand; but recently have done some roles that really bring out their best acting chops; Fury is definitely one that they were amazing in. Both of them stepped up and made me believe that they were like brothers. And when you add in the brazen natures of Michael Peña (imdb.com) and Jon Bernthal (imdb.com) you get a tank crew that, while maybe a little campy, makes you actually care about what happens to them. Logan Lerman (imdb.com) adds in just the right amount of innocence to round out the extremity of the other four. The obvious correlation between the rookie’s rise and the veteran’s decline is usually annoying, but because of the way Pitt and Lerman portrayed their characters it was intriguing and felt new.
When the acting and directing are pulled together the way Fury has, it makes the relationships and emotions of the story actually matter. It makes the audience care. And Fury has managed to tug at our heart strings without overdoing it on dialogue. The intensity of stares between the characters, the use of silence to let the scene breathe, the sheer grit of the story made me believe that these characters had not only been together for years, but had been through so many hardships that it left the unspoken moments sing out. They chose not to explain every inside joke and subtle nuance and it was definitely to the benefit of the film.
Being me, I can’t talk about a visually stunning film like Fury without commending the cinematographer, Roman Vasyanov (imdb.com). The compositions, the camera moves, everything, led to something beautiful. I can only imagine that his prior work with Ayer on End of Watch allowed him the flexibility to create what is one of the most intimate feeling war films of this century. He showed restraint in his movements and only used big sweeping pulls, pans, and tilts when he truly needed them; and he managed to make the inside of a Sherman tank feel like it was really home for the crew.
Are there errors, plot holes, and fallacies in the history? Of course there is, but it’s not based off a true story and does the job it needs. If you aren’t outwardly looking for mistakes in the film, you won’t find one. The few grievances I have with Fury (mainly having to do with the film’s “tactics” not being factual) are easily forgiven when you let yourself go and allow the emotion of what’s on screen to fully envelope you.
If I was to score Fury out of 10, I’d give it an 8. Not absolutely perfect, but pretty damned good. The action was invigorating, the emotions felt real, and it literally had the audience leaning forward wanting more. If you’re familiar with David Ayer’s work, you’ll notice the huge similarities with End of Watch and Training Day (and I don’t mean that as a bad thing). Fury is great for war film fans, action movie fans, and anyone who loves a decent story and strong emotions. Long story short, go see it.
Here’s the trailer for anyone not familiar with what I’m talking about:
Movie Review: Fury