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Fury: The End of Watch

December 20, 2014

Fury movie poster

Fury is refreshing in its bleakness. It is the tale of a dysfunctional family of WW II soldiers who have seen way too much. It doesn’t glorify war and you feel all the grime and dirt as they trudge across Germany. I love how Fury focuses on a singular story and features a curve ball of a cinematic centerpiece.

The film revolves a tanking crew (Brad Pitt, Michael Pena, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal) who have fought their way across Africa, France, Belgium and now Germany. They are a ragtag group that have formed a cohesive yet unconventional family. Their ideals differ greatly but when it comes to battle they have an efficient shorthand that spells doom for the Nazis. They recently lost one of their crew and a young clerk (Logan Lerman) is assigned to the tank. The kid has never seen battle and the seasoned crew are justifiably not a fan of his.

Fury cast

Very much like Ayer’s fantastic End of Watch the film creates a believable brotherhood between soldiers. The guys inside Fury don’t always like each other but they don’t want to fight with anyone else. Pitt, Bernthal, Pena and LaBeouf complement each wonderfully and have a very lived in feel to their characters. It got to the point when during filming the actors become so protective over their tank they wanted to fight anybody who disrespected it.

There is a unique moment in Fury that I didn’t see coming.  In the middle of the film Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman find themselves in a German women’s apartment. It is tense because you have no idea what will happen. Eventually, the rest of the crew join in for a sit down lunch and it is fraught with unpredictability. The scene exemplifies the weird family dynamic and doesn’t try to make anybody likable. It proves that a normal life is gone and their lives will be broken by the things they’ve done and seen. The performances are fantastic and the two women Anamaria Marinca and Alicia Von Rittberg do lots with little dialogue.

Fury lunch

 

The finale plays like a mixture of Saving Private Ryan, The Wild Bunch and 300. It is a bloody spectacle where five men battle hundreds of SS soldiers in order to prevent a massacre. They know it is suicide and hunker down for some ultra-violence. The carnage is super realistic as limbs explode and bullets tear flesh apart. It is the last stand for men who are close to finishing the war. Ayer knows his way around heart wrenching scenes (End of Watch) and you sit at the edge of your seat as the battle unfolds.

Fury is a fantastic film that doesn’t flinch and offers something new to the World War II cinematic cannon. Watch it. Appreciate the family dynamic. Then, watch Band of Brothers and Pacific.

 

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 20, 2014 12:06 pm

    It’s the cast that really makes this work. They’re hard-hitting, compelling, and brutal, and fit right into this dark, desperate world that Ayer has concocted. Good review.

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