Now from what I can tell Fury is not based on any true story. I’m fine with this, not all war movies have to be based on something that really happened. In the last several years we’ve seen a minor come back for war films. David Ayer the director of Training Day brings a gritty vision to a film genre that I believe lost it’s balls recently. Problem is the film almost goes too dark.
Brad Pitt is a stand out in this film. Frankly without him the movie might have really struggled. He is the commanding officer of a tank lead by men who have seen too much combat. They’ve been together for a long time, fought through Africa and France and now find themselves in Germany with their foot on the throat of the Nazi’s.
The rest of the team is made up of “Bible” the religious man of the group played by Shai Labeouf. “Gordo” played by the impressive Michael Pena. Then of course there is “Coon-ass” played by Shane… I mean Jon Berthal. They are paired up with a new kid played by Logan Lerman. They pick at each other and at many times seem like animals. Slowly we see them become brothers. The actors are all fine but really don’t stand out against Pitt.
The best thing about this movie is that there really isn’t any secret mission they go on or anything. They simply lumber forward and fight off desperate Germans. In one scene they fight children armed with rockets. Unlike other movies that try and find some sort of light hearted or meaning to war, Fury makes it clear that war is brutal and disgusting.
My only issue with the movie is its constant mission to be dark. There is no sympathy here in this movie. The balance is just off, at many times I actually disliked Pitt’s crew, that’s fine I guess but it doesn’t balance well with the action. The last almost twenty minutes of the movie the crew fight off a hundred SS soldiers. The violence turns real to suddenly comic book silliness. If you want to go dark and gritty then that should flow right into the action.
That being said the film is still very interesting. Just be prepared this is not a “fun” movie. The violence is brutal and Ayer is never afraid to show it.
I really believe The Rock aka Dwayne Johnson is our version of an 80’s action hero. He has picked the wrong projects though, too many kids films, not enough hard core action movies. Interesting move by picking Snitch, he plays John Matthews a business man who really isn’t a bad ass, he’s really just a general guy. When his son from his first marriage receives a package from an old high school friend, which is filled with pills, he’s arrested for drug trafficking. To get him out The Rock makes a deal with the federal prosecutor(Susan Sarandon) and uses his own business to set up a drug cartel.
The plot seems pretty generic, I will admit there isn’t anything mind blowing here, what stands out is who grounded in reality the film is. Everything is dark and dangerous. The Rock is not a bad ass, his character is either scared shitless or getting his ass kicked. The Mexican drug cartel he gets involved with seems unstoppable at times. The police and politicians behind them aren’t exactly perfect either. There are action moments but I wouldn’t really call this movie an action film. There is a truck/car chase and a shoot out scene, the shoot though is between two drug cartels.
A stand out here is Jon Bernthal who you’ll remember from the show “The Walking Dead”, he plays an ex-con that helps the Rock get introduced to the drug under world. His character has a lot of levels, you really feel for the guy and his family. He and the Rock are basically both under the foot of the world of drugs, but unlike the Rock’s character, his isn’t rich so you know that any time his world could collapse. Sure the movie doesn’t avoid drug cartel cliches. Benjamin Bratt plays the drug cartel leader, he doesn’t get a lot of screen time but he plays it up really well. One other thing to note is that the movie deals with it’s lead character having an ex-wife and a new one, something that is very common in suburban life but we rarely see in movies. That was a breath of fresh air personally.
The movie reminds me of Contraband with Mark Wahlberg that came out a year ago. That film was solid, involved the criminal under world, a little bit of action here and there. Over all though that film and Snitch aren’t something you need to race to the theater for, you can wait to rent it at home. It just isn’t enough to say it’s a great film experience, over all though it’s solid.
Rating: 7 out of 10