An interesting yet an empty attempt to illustrate the psychology of the World War II
It’s the final year of the World War II in yet another action/war film by the writer of “Training Day”, David Ayer, and this time it’s Brad Pitt who carries a giant emotionless bag throughout. Packed with Shia LaBeouf’s interesting ‘religious’ role and a very ‘pale’ Logan Lerman, this ended up being one of those films you would love to change.
Set in the dying weeks of the World War II, a fictional war drama Fury follows a five-men crew battling on the German land in a Sherman tank. Naturally, Pitt is the U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who, along with crew, is given several tasks to finish on the ground. After losing the assistant driver, Pitt gets a teenage rookie, an Army typist played by Lerman who is very reluctant to kill the Germans. After one of many valuable lessons Staff Sergeant forces him to learn (sometimes highly propagandistic), Lerman’s character gradually reaches the highly expected level of hatred.
That’s what Fury is all about. Well, in a nutshell. So why don’t we turn this around and look at things a bit deeply.
First of all, it was interesting to see that the beginning, with a carefully selected sound game, pondered us to rethink the symbolism this movie carries: is this really a World War II movie or we are looking at something pretty current? Second of all, on several occasions, the characters really tried to be Coppolesque. Oh yes, we can immediately see some resemblance with “Apocalypse Now” and the way different people inside the group treat each other. The only person who managed to set aside from it was Brad Pitt, who definitely did a hell of a good job. As expected, he is Ayer’s Ace card in Fury, a role that not only completely matches him (and we must admit, this is due to the work of several directors who dealt with Pitt in similar roles prior to this one), but additionally converts him into an unmissable link in a highly non-mainstream way. However, despite the intelligence of Pitt’s acting and the way he takes advantage of his roles, he was struggling not to go along with his Aldo Raine’s witty character from “Inglorious Bastards”.
There were some interesting attempts by director David Ayer throughout the film. For example, Ayer took an opportunity to ‘calm’ the movie down with a 30-minute void, when the Staff Sergeant and the rookie have a lunch with two German women in a small German town. Some might say it’s a crucial moment in this psychological war game, and Ayer really took an effort to highlight some important elements. However, I’m not entirely sure it’s something unique, game-changing and memorable.
In the first part of the film the director decided to deal with the question of ‘youth’s involvement’ in war. But the thing that mostly circled around like crows was the propaganda. Oh yes, it was everywhere: image, sound and even facial expressions. I wonder, did they really have to point out who’s the enemy so much?
“Best job I ever had”, the soldiers on Fury kept repeating. Yes, the film might be a typical WW2 action/drama with an eager to battle and win. However, in this case it tended to be much more. The director clearly tried to make a straight-forward brutal and psychological war game, in which made us focus on soldiers who not only physically fight, but above all have to emotionally survive. But was it a success?
Even though it’s watchable, nicely made (pay careful attention to a mid-movie battle scene!) and very exciting, Fury definitely lacks the point, which, I’m guessing, only Ayer knows. Trying to combine psychology, poeticism and war, Ayer left the protagonists silent (well, to be honest, depends on who are you looking at). And probably even worst, he left us in silence too. But let me tell you, not in the good way.
In the end, we are left with only few thoughts, and the one about ‘hate’ being the most important one. We like when a movie makes a little psychic dance around our heads, don’t we? Well, let me assure you, this one will let you go with a particular question – What drives you forward?