Posted November 6, 2014 by in


Total Score

2/ 5

Quick Stats

Genre: action
Director: David Ayer
MPAA Rating: R
Actors: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman
Length: 134 minutes
Release Date: 10/17/2014
Studio: Columbia Pictures (presents) QED International (in association with) LStar Capital (in association with) Grisbi Productions, Le Crave Films Huayi Brothers Media
What We Thought

How can a movie about tank warfare be so boring?

by Daniel Hodgson
Full Article
How can a movie about tank warfare be so boring?
     For starters, Fury, a WWII-era actioner, is over two-hours long.  Here’s who we’re watching for that time:  Brad Pitt plays Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier, the John Wayne character from the Duke’s war movies.  Shia LaBeouf is Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan.  His nickname tells you all there is to know about him.  Michael Peña is Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia, a character who’s defined exclusively by his ethnicity, and Jon Bernthal is Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis, the obnoxious idiot of the group.  Characters this shallow cannot sustain a 130 minute movie.
     Wardaddy and the crew of the “Fury”, an M4 Sherman Tank, return to base as the only survivors of a bloody battle, where Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a boy of barely 18, if that, is assigned as their assistant tank driver.  An army clerk, Norman has never even seen the inside of a tank.  Norman is the idealistic, fresh-faced kid found at the center of coming-of-age stories, so you know exactly where Fury is going.
     A couple of fairly exciting set pieces follow.  To his credit, writer/director David Ayer keeps his camera still during action scenes, and his cutting urgent but coherent.
     And then it all comes to a crashing halt.  Wardaddy captures a small German town, where he takes Norman into a woman’s home for the spoils of war with a young girl his own age, Emma (Alicia von Rittberg).  Afterwards, the rest of the Fury crew (let’s call them the “three stooges”) show up to ruin the mood, and further belabor an already lengthy scene.
     Spoilers here, but please, indulge me.  After Wardaddy and company leave the home, the building is blown up, killing Emma.  Now Norman is mad—furious, one might say.  Now imagine the same thing, but without the three stooges having intruded earlier.  It’s a sharper tonal shift, and a shorter scene for faster pacing.
     David Ayer is a better screenwriter than this.  This is the scribe of 2001’s Training Day.  That has been followed up with Sabotage, and now this.  What happened?
     But like I said, at least Ayer keeps his camera still.  At least the editing isn’t choppy.  At least it goes for the R-rating.  And at least I was looking at the movie screen; Fury is dull, but watchable.  And at the very least, there won’t be a sequel…right?

About the Author

Daniel Hodgson

Daniel has a degree in film from the University of Texas at Austin, and writes about himself in the third-person, because that's the fashion.


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