We all remember the powerful film Training Day, starring Denzel Washington and the visceral, tragic mind-game his character played on the naive rookie cop, played by Ethan Hawke. Screenwriter David Ayer is back with his new film Fury and directs it like a documentary — for better or worse.
"It's a different world from your usual war movie. The men are exhausted. In World War II, you fought until you either won or died, or were grievously injured and got sent home. It’s incredibly taxing on the fighting man's soul," said Ayer.
So, what does that mean for us, as audience members? It means that we see a lot— and we mean a lot — of graphic violence. If you're going to see this film, and we think you should, be prepared for rivers of blood and mortal head wounds and burning flesh, not to mention a body count that's in the hundreds.
The story is helmed by the thick-skinned and pragmatic American sergeant known as Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt), who commands a Sherman tank nicknamed Fury. When one of his five-member team is killed in battle, he's sent a less than qualified replacement and isn't happy about it.
Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), is a teenaged soldier, trained to type 60 words per minute and knows he has no business being on the battlefield. "Norman represents the audience in the film," said Lerman. "He's the new kid with almost no military training, and it's through his eyes that we learn about the tank, the grammar and the story of the movie. It's his story of acceptance; his journey is the core of the film."
Norman's first order is to clean up the last soldier's remains inside the tank. He shockingly finds the face — yes, the flesh that exploded off the skull of the former soldier — lying on the seat. It's truly a horrific sight. He vomits. We nearly did, also. Be advised to skip the popcorn with this movie.
Just when we thought the intensity of the battle scenes pushed us to our limit, a new type of tension appears on-screen. Wardaddy and the crew take a breather from fighting and walk through a local German village.
Wardaddy takes Norman into an apartment where they find two young women who are frightened and wary. The women make lunch for the men but things go from awkward to unbearable when the other Fury soldiers, gunner Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Trini Garcia (Michael Peña) and the miserable cretin, Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) show up, wanting a lot more than some scrambled eggs.
The scene has a deep, psychological horror to it, successfully matching the film's disturbing carnal violence. Women have always been vulnerable in war, but Fury doesn't take the expected route. While these ladies, Irma (Anamaria Marinca) and Emma (Alicia von Rittberg), meet a tragic fate, the filmmakers free it from sexual violence.
Violence, however, continues to rule this movie. The good news is that you'll be on the edge of your seat through the entire film. Brad Pitt gives an excellent performance, proving he's still one of our favorite movie stars.
Fury opens in theaters Friday, Oct. 17.
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