Monday, November 03, 2014


     Credit writer/director David Ayer for taking five stereotyped characters, blending them together in the tight, claustrophobic space of a WW II tank (christened "Fury") and making us care deeply about them for a little over two hours.

      Brad Pitt stars as "Wardaddy", the tough as nails Sergeant keeping his misfit tank crew alive through the waning days of World War Two. His crew consists of Shia LeBeouf (the religious zealot), Michael Pena ( the minority Mexican), Jon Bernthal (the psychopath) and Logan Lerman as the rookie. It doesn't take long before we are caught up in the mud, blood, and carnage they face as they clear the way for the advancing U.S. troops into Germany.

      Mr. Ayer doesn't hold back on the horrors of war, giving the viewer the gory reality of sudden death and dismemberment. There are some terrific battle sequences, in particular, a tank battle shot as a heavy metal dance of death. The camera takes us right into the claustrophobic  belly of "Fury". You can smell the body odors, oil, grease and cigarette smoke. And more importantly, the fear. The men of this tank crew are not superheroes. They have been thrown together in a rolling death trap and asked to do the impossible.

         The acting is first rate and each actor rises above his stereotype. Besides the one strange interlude midway through the film, they spend the majority of their time in and around the tank. Sitting in the dark theater, you can almost feel yourself right there with them and that happens when script, actors, and director mix perfectly to envelope the viewer in the story and the characters.

         My one complaint involves the timeline of a particular sequence but it's a minor one I can forgive when everything else has been almost perfect. "Fury" is not easy entertainment but it does it's job and honors the memory of every tank crew that lived or died defending our freedom.

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