David Ayer’s Fury is a brutal, vicious look at a tank crew (including Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, and Logan Lerman) behind enemy lines in Nazi Germany. As masterful as it is at recreating the hellishness of war, Fury adds nothing whatsoever to the canon of WWII films.
Fury is a pretentious wartime drama whose reach far exceeds its grasp. Each character is flat, dull, and one-note. Brad Pitt in particular seems to have phoned-in in this performance – his expression doesn’t appear to change even once in the whole film. And as much as Fury wants to be a “character study,” the characters aren’t really worth caring about.
The film plods along, full of redundant battle scenes and a mostly uninteresting series of events. And when Fury finally kicks it into high gear, in the far superior final sequence of the film, it’s already too late. The last act of the film is riveting, intense, and masterfully directed – but it’s impossible to not wonder by the time it’s over how much more incredible the sequence could have been had it been occupied by characters we actually cared about.
The writing is bogged down by stilted dialogue, the special effects strangely feel better-fitted to a scifi movie, and whoever edited the film seemed to have gone a little crazy with Instagram filters.
Fury is well-made, features a great cast, and is wonderful at showing – whether intentional or not – how war slowly strips soldiers of their humanity, one dead body at a time. But it’s too slow, too redundant, too dull, and too insignificant to matter.
© Matt Tory, 2014.