David Ayer’s latest, ‘Fury’ delights you in many respects and disappoints you in so many other respects. Even though the film’s narrative is really compelling and the dark frames suit the mood of the story, the problem with the film is the narrative itself. David Ayer has a fantastic cast and all the advantages of technology, but he fails to deliver to a large extend.
Think about Saving Private Ryan. Even though it was a war film where mass destruction was galore, primarily it was the story about human relationships, sacrifices and courage. We could identify with each of the characters, the height of emotions elevated by the grueling war background. The result is a cinematic gym which still makes you feel for the protagonists . Fury misses this crucial element of plot.
Set during the final days of the war, with Allied forces marching through Germany on the way to Berlin and the Nazis trying everything in a desperate bid to hang on, including putting kids into battle and hanging those who refuse to fight, the film engages your attention and gives you the false hope of some brilliant things yet to happen in the very next frame. But it never happens.
Brad Pitt does a good job as the leader of the pack but leaves you wondering if he still carries the remnants of the Quentin Tarantino film and his role in it.
The usually teary faced Shia LaBeouf looks entirely different but boring at times. It’s not a joy to watch him except in the final scenes. Jon Bernthal has the mad guy role tailored specially for him and he does an OK job of that. Michael Peña blends in to the atmosphere without having much to offer than the usual. As Norman, the main protagonist in the story, Logan Lerman is disappointing with a host of unwanted expressions on his face almost all the time. Maybe he should stick to chick flicks. He brings unwanted and misplaced intensity to almost all of his scenes leaving you wondering if the guy ever emotes normal.
Having said all that, the film still engages your attention and leaves you engrossed while it lasts. There are beautiful moments in the film like when the soldiers go in to the house of a civilian and become the unwanted guests. The scene reminds you of Tarantino. The final battle scenes are shot nicely where our heroes fight an entire squad of advancing German soldiers with only an old tank to protect them from the shower of bullets. But does the film leave you wanting for more?
David Ayer forgets to introduce the characters early in to the story. We are left with five men who are stuck together in a tank and who go from city to city fighting a war. Do you know anything more about them? Do you make an emotional connection with even one of them so that you would feel sorry once they are killed eventually? NO. As a result, you watch four of them killed by German bullets one by one and you never feel a pang of sorrow. Fury thus becomes the story of five unknown men and a war. It could have been the story of Norman and could have started from him getting drafted to the army and his transformation once in the army. It could have about any of the five men. But instead you see a Sherman tank moving slowly through the inlands of war ravaged Germany with 5 men locked in it.