In-House Review: Fury (2014)


“War never ends quietly.”
Now, like most *ahem* young men like myself, I love a good war movie. Stuff exploding, people shouting obscene language, large guns, and the fight over good and evil taking centre stage once again. What’s not to like?! So when I heard two years ago that Brad Pitt was doing a realistic WWII film I was quite excited, naturally. But sadly, like opening a market-bought Christmas cracker and finding the feeble attempt at a gift inside, I was a little disappointed.
Set in 1945 during the last months of WWII, the films follows a US tank crew lead by grizzly
voiced, scarred, battered and weathered Don Collier also known as “Wardaddy” (Pitt).  His five-man crew, partly consisting of Shia LeBoef, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal, have been together through almost the entire war campaign, namely from Africa to Europe, and have taken part in some of the most ferocious engagements of the war. Sadly for them, their long-standing machine-gunner is killed whilst fighting in Germany and their new gunner, fresh-faced typist Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), is an unexpected and, to some extent, unwanted replacement.
Unsurprisingly, the crew’s initial time together is not harmonious and with a reluctant soldier at the trigger of the secondary weapon in the tank it is only a matter of time before something goes wrong and lives are lost. (I’ll say no more on that as it’ll be a bit of spoiler).
Brad Pitt;Logan LermanAs the war rages on, Wardaddy and his crew find themselves further into Germany where the fighting intensifies, especially against the die-hard elite SS units and German Panzer tanks. The realisation of what they are up against starts to become an ever pressing thought and with death all around them, the crew stand to wonder how long it’ll be before their luck runs out.
Now, for me, the film is well shot and produced. It’s gritty and violent in all the right places with the violence never seeming to be out-of-place or even gratuitous. But there’s just something missing. There is one segment in particular where Wardaddy (Pitt) and new boy Ellison (Lermen) enter a house and have a slightly uncomfortable engagement with two women which includes an awkward breakfast and adult interaction for Ellison in particular. Now while I’m not against a nice breakfast and a bit of adult interaction, the scene for me was unnecessary. It doesn’t add anything to the characters or the story. I get that the film writers wanted to add a scene where there was no fighting and death, which I appreciate, but this scene was not the answer. I’m not by any means saying I know what the right scene should be, but it isn’t that.
BradPIttCloseFuryNow, as I said, the film lacks a little something. Something that I still can’t quite put my finger on. Maybe its the fact that none of the characters really draw you in, or, to be honest, are even that original. The five man crew seem to be a mix of characters written for Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers which were all good for their respective film/tv series, but not original for Fury. Or maybe its some of the accents that are used, which for me made some of the lines inaudible.
 It could be that the story line itself is in fact not that original either. Namely: ‘Tightly nit crew has horrible moment, new person turns up, causes friction and risks people’s lives, then builds to crescendo where lots of death occurs and only a few survive”. Yup, sound familiar…? Its Saving Private Ryan! Sorry, I mean Fury…
Fury Tank in the Hayfield Battle in Columbia Pictures' FURY.My final note is once again about the BBFC rating of being suitable for 15 year olds. I am truly astounded that it’s not an 18. Seeing someone explode and limbs go everywhere or another guy’s head explode as it gets crushed by a tank is not in my mind suitable for a 15-year-old. Let me put it this way, Top Gun upon its release was a 15… See what I mean…?
Anyway, overall, as I started out by saying, I was disappointed. I’m a big Brad Pitt fan and I’ve even come round to like Shia LeBoef, but this film just doesn’t hit the heights it should do with a cast and budget like it had. Maybe the fact that they were filming in England on remembrance Sunday should have been the first give away that they weren’t really paying attention to detail about WWII and what should have been expected of them.
brad-pitt-in-furyFury…? More like mildly irritated.
posted by Ben

New Releases: 19/03/12


One of this week’s must see films, this much-anticipated Australian crime-thriller is based on the true story of Australia’s most notorious murders. A teenage boy is introduced to his mother’s new boyfriend and the two form a friendship which leads to a spree of violence and death. Hailed by critics around the globe as a hard-hitting and brilliant piece of work – reserve your copy now. Cert. 18



Steven Spielberg AND Peter Jackson? So, presumably it’s going to be a dainty affair. Our well-coiffed hero has hit the big screens, but does anyone else feel cheated that this was made as an animated feature? The original cartoons were so good and the books are COMICS, so it would’ve been nice if they could have just done something different. It would be great to actually see Andy Serkis play Captain Haddock. However, Spielberg felt that a live-action film would’ve required actors in prosthetics and masses of make-up, making the over-all project “super stylised”, which was not the sort of film he wanted to make. Personally, I would love to see a massively camped-up Tintin project. Maybe a musical. Didn’t Herge write Tintin at the Cabaret? Haddock finds a washed-up Tintin in drag, waitressing at the Moulin Rouge, a drunk Snowy on a uni-cycle… Perhaps that’ll be the sequel. Anyway, this one looks fun enough. Featuring the voices of Jamie Bell (Dear Wendy), Andy Serkis (Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll), Simon Pegg (Hot Fuzz), Daniel Craig (The Mother) and Toby Jones (Infamous). Cert. PG



Dogs in hats. Just what your kids need.



A festival favourite, and one of the most highly acclaimed British films of the year, Weekend follows the story of Glen and Russell who have met in a club and fallen in love. However, their romance is threatened after just two days by the announcement that one of them is leaving the country for two years. Love, heartache, issues of identity and how to find your place in the world… Directed by Andrew Haigh (Greek Pete) and introducing Tom Cullen and Chris New. Cert. 18



A sports drama, nominated for 6 Oscars, Moneyball (named after the Oscar’s after-party?) is based on the true story of the manager of baseball team the Oakland A’s as he tries to put together a decent team on a tiny budget: “There are rich teams and there are poor teams. Then there’s 50 feet of crap, then there’s us.” Oscar-worthy screenplay? Apparently not. Anyway, the manager, played by Brad (Seven) Pitt learns to think outside the box and assemble a dream-team by using the wonders of the latest in computer technology: pie-charts and graphs. Also starring Jonah Hill (Cyrus), Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating,) and Robin Wright (State of Play). Directed by Bennet Miller (Capote). Cert. 12



Somewhat incredibly, this is actually based on the true story of Sam Childers, who started out as an armed guard for drug dealers. He married a stripper who had found Jesus, and then he found Jesus. Arriving in southern Sudan with his construction business, Sam had a message from God: Thou Shalt Build an Orphanage. So he did. This is the real Sam, messenger of God:

Good, clean livin'.

Starring Gerard Butler (300). Directed by Marc Forster (Kite Runner, Monster’s Ball). Cert. 15



An action-comedy about revenge. Ben Stiller (Zoolander), Casey Affleck (Assassination of Jesse James) and Mathew Broderick (Ferris Bueller) are good, honest, hard-working guys. Their millionaire boss, played by Alan Alda (MASH) rips them off, so they decide to enlist the help of ex-con Eddie Murphy (Raw), to rip him off. Directed by Brett Ratner (Red Dragon). Cert. 12



Wealthy couple Nicholas Cage (Adaptation) and Nicole Kidman (The Hours), are taken hostage by a group of bossy goons who want all their money. A crime thriller directed by Joel Schumacher (The Lost Boys). Cert. 15



Believing that an apocalyptic storm is coming, a husband and father (Michael Shannon – Boardwalk Empire, Carnivale) becomes obsessed with building a tornado shelter to protect his family. However, with a mother who was diagnosed with Schizophrenia in her 30s, he – and those around him – begin to question his judgement and sanity. Michael Shannon is excellent at playing these apocalyptic/religious visionaries, full of outer determination and inner struggle with a hint of something dark and disturbing lurking beneath the surface of a stoney exterior. Cert. 15



A thriller set against the backdrop of the second world war in a small Welsh village. The country is under German occupation. One morning the women awake to find all the men have gone missing… Starring Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon) and Andrea Riseborough (W.E.). Cert. 15



American indy horror-thriller about a woman trying to start a new life after escaping the clutches of her troubled ex-boyfriend… who of course is out to track her down. Hopefully a better film than the title suggests. Cert.18



Another baseball-related true story. Starring Ed Harris (Pollock). Cert. 12