In Review: Fury

by Daniel Goodwin on 22/10/2014


Anyone approaching Fury expecting an Oscar-worthy war drama may end up disappointed, but those partial to the odd barnstormer might be pleasantly surprised. Fury is an entertaining and boisterous battle flick that struggles to tug the heart strings but scores with superbly crafted action, enjoyable comic characters and salty camaraderie.

Brad Pitt stars as the gruff and crusty Sergeant Collier, leading a flock of military numbskulls into Nazi Germany during the final month of World War II. Before they venture into battle, a new driver named Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) joins the crew but struggles to blend in due to his inexperience and thin-skinned sensitivity. In an attempt to install some much needed fury Collier subjects Ellison to extreme military exercises but is challenged by his pacifist philosophy resulting in further conflict within the unit.

Pitt is on top form as Collier, a character not a stone’s throw from his Lt. Aldo Raine (Inglorious Basterds). With a crew comprising of a red neck military drone (Jon Bernthal), a brooding Shia LaBeouf and loveable rogue Trini (Michael Pena), the ensemble provide a clownish audacity which nicely cushions the burly action. But despite a couple of touching moments, Fury struggles when striving for poignancy.

Collier (Pitt) shielding anguish after brutally killing a Nazi is insightful but occurs too early to be an effective character development. Another scene, in which Collier gives a packet of eggs to a young German girl and then takes his shirt off while Ellison plays piano in the background is just weird but instils an unintentional yet welcome element of humour and surrealism. After Pitt reveals himself to be still pretty cut for a fifty year old, the sequence turns edgy but it’s during Fury’s final third when things fall apart.

Despite a story mostly bolstered by well-executed set pieces, Fury frequently feels like it’s running on empty. Alongside negligible plot progression the character conflicts are secondary to the action and as a result there is nothing much to resolve, so Fury finishes with yet another battle sequence. It’s ferocious yet vacuous fun; Fury will entertain but not challenge and certainly does not live up to its recently bestowed London Film Festival gravitas.

Daniel has awarded Fury three Torches of Truth 

3 torches cropped

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