FURY: Melbourne Central Movie Club review

Blogged by: Melbourne Central 23 Oct 2014 View comments
On the bloody battlefields of Hitler’s Germany, a team of American soldiers comes to terms with that it means to win a war. Less than six months before the end of World War II, Sgt Ron Collier (Brad Pitt) loses the shooter who’s been an integral part of his five-man team that calls a monstrous army tank named “Fury” home. In the shooter’s place comes Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a wide-eyed rookie who’s been unceremoniously and involuntarily plucked from his job as a typist to fight for America.



Through Norman, writer/director David Ayer shows us the gruesome reality of war, in all its bloody, muddy desperation. The first time Norman shoots an enemy soldier – at Collier’s forced insistence, and after begging that Collier shoot him instead – we’re forced to confront, in no uncertain terms, that winning a war means putting bullets into as many humans as possible. “I won’t ask you to do anything I haven’t done myself,” Collier assures Norman on their first meeting, but considering the sergeant’s scarred and battle-worn body, it doesn’t seem like there’s much that falls into that category. Later in the film, when Norman finds his stride and confidently fires rounds from the front of the tank, striking down SS soldiers in quick succession, you find it difficult to cheer on the character’s growth, knowing that he is just doing what he needs to do to escape the situation, dead or alive.
 
While Norman and Collier form the emotional centre of the film, their team is rounded out spectacularly with “Bible” Swan (Shia Le Beouf), “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Pena) and “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), all of whom have been Collier’s family and extra limbs on battlefields around the world for more than three years. Ayer had the men sleep on cots in tents for months in the lead-up to filming, to prepare them for playing the brotherly bond on-screen, and it worked – they convincingly portray a team, bound for life through the things they’ve seen and done on behalf of their country.



Fury is a spectacular film about what it means to be at the heart of a war. Our heroes don’t have much down-time outside of the relentless fighting, but even when they’re sitting down to eat, or smoking a cigarette in the tank, the threat of attack hangs heavy. The film is coated in tension thicker than that of any war film in recent memory. As a watcher, you’re rarely given the opportunity to relax and, despite sitting in a comfy seat inside Hoyts, you never quite feel safe or calm, knowing the next horde of German soldiers could appear over the hill at any moment.
 
Fury is filled with moral lessons and wise words, delivered in sombre tones by men with cigarettes dangling from their mouths, but in the end the takeaway is that even those who make it home from war alive, rarely do so in one piece.

 

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