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Friday, 31 October 2014

Fury

A very philosophical statement half way down David Ayer’s second movie of the year (The forgettable Sabotage starring Arnold Schwarzenegger was released earlier this year) is probably the high point of Fury.  Seargent Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) tells Private Norman Ellison, “Ideals are peaceful.  History is violent”.


A very deep statement.  So deep, that it leaves Norman Ellison with a very perplexed look; much like the rest of the audience.  Not that the statement is backed with any examples or preceded with something that lets us believe in it either.  Probably as fictional as the movie itself.

I was extremely surprised at the end of it all (I stick around for the end credits for exactly these reasons) wherein a disclaimer rolls in that everything we saw was a work of fiction.  The statutory paragraph followed.  A movie based on a tank regiment of World War II that was considered to be good enough to highlight the just completed Mumbai International Film Festival was a work of fiction!!!!! I felt cheated in some way.

To touch upon the story a little bit, it is April 1945 and the Allies have made headway into Germany.  It is only a matter of time before Germany gives up but the last resistance is usually a free for all fight that results in more damage.  Somewhere in the mix is Wardaddy and his team that consists of Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LeBeouf), Trini 'Gordo' Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis (Jon Bernthal).

The team has lost their assistant driver whose name I cannot recollect.  That position has been filled by a clerk (you heard it right – a clerk with no tank training) called Norman Ellison.  Norman is more petrified than a cornered mouse and rightfully so.  The Tank is named FURY (and so the name of the movie) and has travelled from Africa to France and now Germany.

The rest of the story is about how the FURY team takes on the Krauts in their own backyard.  There is lots of gore for those who would be interested.  Faces plastered on tank floors, guts spilling out, brains spilling out, bullets piercing through one side of the body and exiting from the other with a splatter on the screen – you name it and you will probably find it here.

But other than the effort to really provide gore, there is very little that FURY has to offer.  At a 135 minutes it is an effort to stay stuck to your seat.  Bullets and Tank Fire seem to be a tribute to Star Wars and not to World War II in any manner.  Thankfully the performances are quite solid from most of the cast.  Is it worth watching? Of course.  But did it deserve to be the highlight of a leading Film Festival.  Not by a country mile.  6 on 10 at best.

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