At the Movies 2015: Fury

USA | China | UK 2014
Written by David Ayer
Directed by David Ayer
Watched on 07.01.2015

I’m not the biggest fan of war movies – at least those that seem to be more interested in hero worship than in its atrocities – but despite that, I was quite looking forward to “Fury”. The trailer looked great, I liked the concept, the cast seemed mostly promising, and I enjoyed “Sabotage” (even though it seems I was the only one), thus I was ready to see more from David Ayer. And while I did have my problems with “Fury”, overall it was a dark and gripping movie with some very tense scenes.

First, let’s get my issues with the movie out of the way. Like “Lone Survivor” – which even put the ending in its title, for fuck’s sake! – I found “Fury” to be rather predictable, at least when it comes to the question of who lives and who dies. Pretty much from the beginning I had a very strong impression of how this would ultimately end, and instead of proving me wrong it turned out that I was exactly right. Much more damning though were two scenes that I had my problems with – mostly because I couldn’t really tell David Ayer’s intentions. SPOILERS (OBVIOUSLY): The first scene that I found troublesome was Wardaddy forcing Norman to kill a german soldier. While it was shot in a way that made it feel quite harrowing, I didn’t like the fact that he kinda had to do it in order to prove himself to the others, and to get their respect. Plus, given the fact that Wardaddy is – apart from that one scene – shown in a pretty positive, sympathetic light, I wasn’t quite sure if David Ayer thought that incident was actually a good thing, and that it was necessary for Norman to “man up”. Far more questionable, though, was the scene with the two german women that they visit after liberating the city from Nazi forces. I couldn’t shake the feeling that Norman sleeping with the young woman was supposed to be a romantic thing, just because he’s the youngest of them, and there seemed to be at least a glimmer of affection between the two of them. Nevertheless, she didn’t really get a say in that matter, did she? She couldn’t flat-out refuse, she could only choose which one of them she would fuck. That’s still rape, guys. And while we all know that unfortunately, that’s exactly what’s going on in war times, the movie didn’t make it look like the despicable act that it was. Which really irked me the wrong way.

Apart from that, though, “Fury” was a really good, intense and gripping war movie. I especially liked the way it was shot. The shots fired by the tanks almost looked like laser blasts from a Science Fiction movie. The sound mix was very aggressive and striking, too. The entire movie was incredibly well shot, and totally different from what we’ve seen from Ayer so far. He completely dropped the shaky cam and the pseudo-documentary feel, instead giving the movie a very cinematic look. The fight scenes were pretty gruesome and trilling, and the finale, where they’re stuck in the tank, was especially tense. The cast was pretty good, too. While I don’t care much about Shia LaBeoufs recent antics and don’t think that Spielberg & co. did him a favor by trying to make a leading man out of him – since for that, he lacks the necessary charisma – he’s a decent enough actor who works especially well in supporting roles, like he does here. Even better, though, were Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal. I was slighty disappointed by Brad Pitt, who I felt didn’t give Wardaddy the necessary depth, but otherwise, he was ok. Who really impressed me, though, was Logan Lerman. Even though I already saw (and really liked) him in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower”, he shows a maturity and intensity in his performance here which was far removed from his lighthearted “Percy Jackson”-days. With his young, babyface looks he was also perfectly cast for the role of gentle, innocent Norman, who gets thrown into this gruesome war. Overall, apart from the aforementioned scenes and the predictable outcome, I quite enjoyed “Fury”, and am looking forward to whatever David Ayer has in store for us next.


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