fury: review

FURY: REVIEW – Brad Pitt and his team of Inglourious Basterds are at it again in the Das Boot sequel, this time set in a tank!

The good war gets a bit of the Vietnam treatment, with blood and guts aplenty in this thrilling but predictable war movie.  It all starts nice and murky with a foggy and infernal battlefield and a man on a white horse (not Death, though that’ll come) trotting through the wreckage and the carcasses. Sgt. Wardaddy (Pitt) and his crew are the lone survivors of a battle. One of their number met his gruesome end and his replacement, an inevitably pasty faced youth called Norman (Logan Lerman), with ‘principles’, turns up to be roundly disabused of such notions of honour. He is the same charcters as we have seen in other war movies. Basically the cypher for the audience as he is taught the rigors of combat. He is Carter in ER, getting used to the sight of blood.

And there is plenty of bloody and gore in Fury, which seems to be consciously trying to surpass the viscera-fests Saving Private Ryan, Band of Brothers et al. However, those films, despite their gore and violence, insisted on the Second World War as the Good War. Fury harks back to The Big Red One, despairing of the idea of finding honor in any kind of warfare, but unlike Samuel Fuller’s nihilistic 1980 classic, Fury is compromised by a gee-whiz element, informed by Medal of Honor video game action.

As such the nihilism is not so much despairing as exhilarating. Whereas in previous films, Pitt’s behavior would have made him the charismatic bad sergeant like Tom Berenger in Oliver Stone’s Platoon, in this film his world view is repeatedly endorsed. As the story becomes increasingly predictable all we are left with is the action and the thrill of the last ditch heroics.

Despite the shocks, the biggest upset is seeing Shia La Beouf  being actually quite good.

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