Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Movie Review: “Fury” 

   I am an ardent fan of the cinematic arts. Although I have certain genre preferences, I don’t let that stifle my curiosity and close myself to different flavors of entertainment. That said...I am a huge fan of science fiction, super hero and action movies! Please visit my other blog The Boxed Office for reviews, exclusively, on these types of movies.

The Cast: 

   Brad Pitt has been a consistent actor that always delivers a stellar performance. In this film, his portrayal of Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier is gritty and hard-nosed, but not without a touch of compassion to connect us to the fact he still retains some humanity while dealing with inhumane circumstances. Pitt also conveys just how heavy the head is that wears the crown as defined by being that person in command that is forced to make the hard decisions when nobody els can…or will.
   Shia LaBeouf has been struggling with his public image recently but his acting ability is not. He delivers an excellent performance as Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan, the gunner of the tank. LaBeouf captures the essence of a man slowly losing his grip on sanity from constantly living the horrors of war.
   Michael Pena is a very capable actor and delivers a great performance as Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia, the tank’s driver. Like Swan he is adversely effected by a life of war and struggles to maintain his human connection while carrying out his function to ensure the survival of the crew.

The Plot: 
   With the Allied final push into Nazi Germany, the five man crew of a Sherman tank, Fury, are tasked with being one of the spearheads of the push. After the crew loses their gunner, he is replaced by the new and inexperienced Army typist, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman).
   Naturally Ellison goes through a period of harsh treatment by is crew, both due to is newness, and his reluctance to acclimate to the reality of war. On one such occasion of reluctance, his inaction cases the death of their platoon leader which infuriates Collier and prompts  him to force Ellison to kill a German prisoner.
Later the crew of the Fury partake in the capturing of a small German town and come upon a pair of German women. Collier coaxes Ellison to spend some intimate time with one of them, further strengthening the bond between these two men as Collier has reminded Ellison why they are fighting and that life can be more than just war again. The moment doesn’t last as the rest of the crew, particularly Grady ‘Coon-ass’ Travis (Jon Bernthal), disrupt the setting, further exacerbated by a German attack on the town that kills both women.
   The crew of Fury then receives orders to hold a strategic position along with other tanks. What follows is the summation of all the experience and horrible lessons of war as the crew of Fury must do the impossible.

The Verdict: 

   I very much enjoy war films and have always felt that “Saving Private Ryan” has set the bar. Of course it’s too much to ask of any film to compare to that, and I try not to do so, but it’s always in the back of my mind anyway.
   That said, this film stacks up pretty well in terms if both entertainment and impact. While the central point of the film differers, the theater (WW2) remains the same. What is very unique about the setting within the context of the larger event is the tank itself. The battlefield looks very different from inside a tank…especially one that is in no way invulnerable either to other soldiers and certainly not to enemy tanks.

      Of course the acting and action kept me enthralled as did the expectation I had watching a war film (that there would be plenty of death by gratuitous violence). Although the film delivered this, the pace slowed a bit in some parts, but the story never faltered so it wasn’t an issue for me. 

   Although not the absolute best war film I have ever seen, it still had me riveted to the screen in anticipation of what was going to happen next. I was interested in the fate of the characters and intrigued by their circumstances. This movie steadily rolled over me and blasted three and a half cinnamon sticks, out of five, in my cup of tea.

Rating 3.5 /5

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