Fury (15)

Directed by David Ayer
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 24th October 2014

Reviewed by Steve Lamb

If Hollywood tells its domestic audience that the U.S. single-handedly won WW2 enough times, will they eventually believe it? Or do they believe it already and films like this are made to reinforce this jingoistic and one sided view of history?

‘Fury’ is a story about an American tank and its crew during WW2 that has its work cut out against superior German fire power. Starring A-lister Brad Pitt as Wardaddy, it depicts the hellish existence of a group of rather vile characters with very little humour or wit.

We do, of course, have the usual wet behind the ears rookie Norman Ellison (Logan Leman) to inject a much needed streak of humanity. It is here however, that the film showed a rather nasty side.

His transformation from pacifist army typist into a violent ‘hero’ was portrayed as virtuous rather than the result of him having been contaminated by the horrors of war and despicable colleagues.

Then again, this IS a big budget Hollywood war film and the essential cooperation of the military is generally dependent on them being portrayed in their own favoured way.

What the viewer may also struggle with (I certainly did), is the casting of Pitt, a slick performer at the top of the Hollywood tree, in a violent war film purporting to reflect the gritty realities of war. Despite an undeniably charismatic performance, his presence detracts from the realism and he seems out of place.

Also, this is very much a boys’ own action film with a misogynistic view where the female characters are all treated very badly indeed.

That said, if you can look past the irritating pro-military propaganda and just take it at face value as two hours of entertainment, it’s not bad.

Director David Ayer ('End Of Watch') creates some tense moments. The siege during the climax for example, is well done, and the whole film is effectively shot. Just don’t expect a considered and enlightened examination of WW2 and the involvement of the country which would sadly become the world’s premier super power.

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