It’s been a fair while since we’ve had any reviews up here at BBP, so here’s a great one from guest contributor Huey to kick things off for 2015. I’ve yet to see it but based on this write-up, this film just jumped waaaaaay up the view-queue.
Over to Huey, on why Fury is one of last year’s must-watches…
First, right off the bat – this is a damn fine war movie. There have been a spate of recent war films released lately, many to much acclaim and many set in the recent conflicts in the middle-east, where the politics are often forgotten or ignored so that we can get the deep blue heroism up on the screen. This time however it’s World War 2, the evil Nazi’s are the enemy and history has taught us that they need obliterating. This is where we find our poor office clerk Norman (the excellent Logan Lerman), thrust onto the front line in a quickly dwindling tank battalion, as he is unwillingly made to replace a dead tank gunner/back up driver. The tank in question is the titular Fury which is manned by a battle weary crew, who have been together a while and seem to be living on borrowed time – and they know it. Norman soon meets the formidable War-Daddy (Brad Pitt) who is the Sergeant in charge of the tank battalion, and is quickly both terrified of and horrified by him. It has to be said: Pitt is mesmerising in this role. When I turned on the movie I was kind of expecting another Lt. Aldo Raine from Inglorious Basterds but War-Daddy is not even close to the cartoonish officer from Tarantino’s WW2 effort. Here we find a man broken by the horrors of war but who has learned to embrace the madness with a single mission in mind. Kill the SS Nazi’s.
As we move through the film we learn War-Daddy is just that, a father figure to his crew who hold him up on a pedestal as the reason they are still breathing. The crew is just fantastically cast and they play such a big part in bringing genuine heart and realism to this film. Some of the films finest moments are when the simmering tension of this thrown-together family boils to the surface and moral lines are threatened with being crossed. It is a fine depiction of men working in constant danger that can still find small moments to crack a joke or wind each other up in only a way a brother can.
There are some familiar faces from Walking Dead & True Blood which was pleasant to see, and the always-excellent Jason Isaacs makes a brief appearance (I’m a big fan of his work) as an infantry officer that helps steer the mission. There are some absolutely nerve shredding scenes and the battles are staged brilliantly. Now, I can’t believe I am going to say this… but Shia Lebeouf is starting to win me over! He is excellent in this and has made some bold career choices since his last Transformers film, could we be witnessing another McConnaisance type rise? Who knows, but it really could start with this performance which is both searing and heart breaking.
My one grumble is that it’s a bit long (it probably could have been 20 minutes shorter) but that’s a minor issue in what is a truly excellently staged war story. If I was scoring it then it’s a bona fide 5 out of 5.
Get on it people!