FlixChatter Review: FURY (2014)

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Hollywood loves making films about WWII and to their credit they produced some great ones. In my opinion, Saving Private Ryan and The Thin Red Line were the last great films about this war. And even though I loved Inglorious Basterds, I don’t count it as true WWII film, if you saw it then you know what I mean by that. This latest one from writer/director David Ayer has an A-list leading man and huge budget, but unfortunately it’s just another by-the-numbers war film.

It’s April 1945 and the war is almost over, as the film opens we see an aftermath of a huge battle and the only people left alive were a group of American soldiers inside a tank named Fury. Its commander is Don Collier (Brad Pitt) and his crewmen are not happy with him since one of their teammates was killed in the battle and they blamed him. After some bickering, they head back to their base camp to get their next assignment. A young recruit named Norman (Logan Lerman) introduced himself to Collier and said he was told he’s now under Collier’s command. Upon seeing the young soldier, Collier was not happy but he has no choice but bring Norman on board. After receiving his next mission from his boss Captain Waggoner (the always great Jason Isaacs), Collier and his men set out to take down more Nazis. As the film moves on, it became pretty generic in this genre, we see big battles, body limbs gets torn apart, the young soldier gets picked on by older soldiers and of course they accept him once he proved himself in the battlefield.

FURY_2014_stillsPitt gave a solid performance as the leader but seeing him in perfect shape and his hair never seem to get messy during the battle scenes really didn’t make his character more believable. When I saw the trailer for this film, I thought he might do another Aldo Raines but thankfully his performance was more grounded than in Tarantino’s flick. The most surprising performance to me was Shia LaBeouf, he’s the man of faith in the group and I thought he was quite good in the role. After seeing him in all those awful Transformers movies, I just couldn’t stand him but here he actually gave a good performance. Unfortunately the rest of the cast members got stuck with clichéd roles. Jon Bernthal is again being cast as the “bad” guy on the team and even though he did a good job, we’ve seen this kind of character many times before. Michael Peña is the token minority character and he’s supposed to be the comic relief guy, in some scenes he’s funny but again we’ve seen this too many times before. Lerman’s Norman is supposed to be the heart and soul of the team since he’s the “innocent” one but he’s not a strong actor so he didn’t really make an impression on me. I think Ayer tried to make his character very similar to that of Charlie Sheen in Platoon but it didn’t work because he’s a supporting character. The film might’ve worked better had it been told from Norman’s perspective and have a better actor in the role.

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David Ayer has been living off the success of his early writing gigs, he wrote the first Fast & Furious film and later that same year another film he wrote became a success, Training Day. As a director, none of his films were successful and here I think he tried too hard to make a “serious” film. There’s a scene halfway way through the film that totally dragged and I wish he’d left it on the cutting room floor, I think I understood what he’s trying to say with that scene but to me it’s just a waste of time since it never really amount to anything significance later in the story. The battle scenes were well staged but seeing green and red laser beams was kind of weird, I’ve never seen a real gun battle in real life so maybe when guns are fired, they shoot out laser beam like that.

Technically Fury is a success but overall it’s just another run of the mill war film that we’ve seen way too many times before. Maybe with a better script, the film could’ve worked better, but there are so many great films out there about this subject that it’s hard to make anything new.
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Have you seen FURY? Well, what did you think?

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37 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: FURY (2014)

  1. “The most surprising performance to me was Shia LaBeouf…”

    Indeed. I was pleasantly surprised by this. I liked this a bit more than you, but you make very valid points concerning ‘Fury’. I found myself warying between great and ‘why are they doing that!’ moments. Still, I liked Brad in this, and he continues to grow on me as a performer.

    Oh, well. At least I’ve ‘John Wick’ to look forward to. 😉 Fine revew, Ted.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Michael, I wanted to like this one more but too many cliches just made the film average in my opinion. Shia was the reason why I was hesitant about this film but he sure was a huge surprise.

      Yes, John Wick looks wicket cool! LOL.

  2. Hey Ted, I’m actually curious about this one because of Shia, as I’ve heard he gave a good performance here. I actually think he’s a decent actor, just need to get his act together so he doesn’t become the next Lindsay Lohan! Might give this one a rent, but how violent is it? If it’s as violent as Saving Private Ryan, I don’t know if I can handle it.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Ruth, the violence I say is somewhere between The Thin Red Line and Saving Private Ryan. There were some graphic scenes but they cut away more of the gruesome stuff. If you can handle the violence in Inglorious Basterds then you’ll be okay with this one. Shia was definitely a surprise.

  3. Hmmm, maybe I will wait for rental to watch this one. I’ve heard some mixed things about it, but I think it has my interest enough to at least give it a shot later on, just not in the theater. Great review, Ted!

  4. Oh dear…I was afraid of this. I’ve seen a lot of war movies and there didn’t seem to be one original idea in the trailer. Brad Pitt is growing on me as well. Oddly enough, I never liked him when he was younger.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Paula, thanks for stopping by. I think it’s hard to do anything new with WW2 these days, which is why I loved Inglorious Basterds, at least that one was a sort of fantasy version of history, ha ha.

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Cindy! I didn’t mind Shia until I saw him in those awful Transformers movies, he was so annoying that I just don’t to see him any other movies but he was a big surprise in this one. I like Brad Pitt too. I used to hate him back in high school though, mostly because all the girls I knew loved him. LOL!

      1. I have a lot of respect for Brad these days. I was thinking of writing a post explaining why. As far as Shia–I didn’t bother with the Transformers. But I thought his acting in ‘Lawless’ showed promise. He has an expressive face. I root for him.

        1. Ted S.

          Yeah I do have respect for Brad too, he knows that he’s a big star and can get projects from inception to the big screen pretty fast, but I don’t feel he abuses that power often. Without his star power, World War Z would not have happened. Do let us know when/if you post the article about him.

          I have yet to see Lawless mostly because of Shia, ha ha. But I’ll give a rent soon!

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks Terry. When I saw the trailer I thought it’s going to be more of an action/adventure like say The Dirty Dozen or Inglorious Basterds, didn’t expect it to be Saving Private Ryan or Thin Red Line. It probably would’ve worked better if they made it into a straight up action picture.

  5. Nice review, Ted. I agree that that one particular scene you’re talking about certainly dragged on, and while I personally wouldn’t have cut the whole thing, it definitely needed some trimming. Otherwise, though, while nothing we haven’t seen before, I did still enjoy this one quite a bit nonetheless myself.

    1. Ted S.

      Hey Cris, yeah that scene just dragged way too long. I was hoping for a more straight up action picture and not a serious one. But it wasn’t bad, just average.

  6. Nice review, Ted. But, truly, I kinda enjoy almost every moment in this movie (save the cliche, of course).
    The Thin Red Line was definitely an example of originally great war movie, but Fury, despite of its lack of originality, is quite thrilling… Or is it just me? 🙂

    1. Ted S.

      Hi Paskalis, thanks for the stopping by! I enjoyed the movie too, especially the well staged battle scenes but I can’t give it a higher rating just because it’s way too cliche.

  7. Not really interested in this at all. You’re right there haven’t been many good war movies since Saving Private Ryan and The The Thin Red Line. Two little seen war films that I’d highly recommend are the foreign films Lebanon (It’s told almost entirely from the point of view of 4 characters inside a tank)

    and No Man’s Land which deservedly won the Best Foreign Picture Oscar in 2001.

    1. Ted S.

      Those two movies look very interesting Dave, I’ll see if they’re available online somewhere. I think it’s hard for any new film about WW2 to top both Saving Private Ryan or The Thin Red Line, which is why I thought this film would be more of straight up action/adventure since it’s written and directed by Ayer.

  8. Dan

    Have to say I’m looking forward to this despite your concerns Ted. David Ayer is a talent and I’m eager to see his take on WWII.

    1. Ted S.

      Ayer is a hit or miss director so far in my opinion, I enjoyed End of Watch despite its annoying filming style and Sabotage was a good throw back to the 80s/90s violent action pictures. I didn’t really care for his earlier directing work, Harsh Times was descent but Street Kings was just awful. I was hoping this one would be more of a straight up action/adventure and didn’t expect a serious war drama. Hopefully you’ll like it better than I did.

  9. Abbi

    My husband, the WWII afficionado, is refusing to see this because he apparently spotted about 10 historical inaccuracies in the trailer.

  10. Great review, Ted! For me, this movie just felt so overrated from the previews alone, I didn’t know if I’d be interested. And your review, along with several others I’ve read, seems to repeat the same things: it’s just OK, and it’s a lot already of what we’ve seen before. Plus, for me, I’d just like to see Brad Pitt in something better.

  11. I think I liked this one a bit more than you Ted. I really enjoyed Jon Bernthal’s performance and that slow scene half way through that you mention. I think it really emphasised the damage of prolonged war on these characters. There are a few cliches and the ending stretches believability but overall I thought it was pretty well done. We can’t all like the same things though – that’s what’s great about the movies! 🙂

    1. Ted S.

      That’s exactly right, if we all like the same things then the world would be quite boring, ha ha. I’ll give a rent when it hits Bluray, maybe I’ll like it better the second time around.

      As for Bernthal, I really enjoy him as an actor and was hoping he’d land a lead role soon, but ever since The Walking Dead, he’s been playing the same kind of character in every other films he appeared in. Hopefully some director will hire him and have him play a different kind of role someday.

  12. Great review Ted, I have been hearing so much about this movie and honestly from the previews you read my mind. I keep thinking it just looks like another WWII movie that doesn’t seem that exciting. I also agree from the previews alone Brad Pitt looks like perfection. You would think in the midst of WWII your hair would get messed up. lol Just like in World War Z, the apocalypse is upon the world but he looked perfect the whole time. 🙂

    1. Ted S.

      Thanks! It’s an average film for sure and didn’t give us anything new when it comes to WW2.

      LOL, yeah it seems in most of Pitt’s movie, he always look perfect, even being chase by hundreds of zombies, ha ha! I wonder if he included a clause in his contract saying he can’t look bad in movies.

      1. I am sure that is in his contract. lol oh look the world is falling apart and zombies are coming, but boy does Brad Pitt look awesome. Beautiful hair and scarf, the apocalypse has nothing on him. hahaha

  13. Pingback: Monthly Recap, Top 5 Picks from TCFF 2014 + Fave Movie(s) of OCTOBER |

  14. Nice review, Ted. I loved the film, but I can see how the writing could be faulted. I’m glad you liked Shia LaBeouf’s performance. He quietly steals the film, though I really liked Lerman’s performance.

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