Movie: Fury (2014)
Director: David Ayer
Writer: David Ayer
Cast: Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, & Jason Isaacs
One-Line Plot Synopsis: A five-man tank crew barrels through Nazi Germany in 1945.
Fury is the first movie in writer/director David Ayer's career where he's veered out of his comfort zone of dark police dramas to try his hand at something new. He was able to keep the same dark overtones and tinted lighting that makes his work easily recognizable. Ayer's career is sprinkled with movies featuring a dark and troubled protagonist who bends the rules of his job with a vicious mentality in movies such as Training Day, Dark Blue, Harsh Times, and End of Watch. I'm actually really surprised that he didn't have a hand in the Woody Harrelson movie Rampart, as that movie could fit right alongside those films in a movie lineup about crooked cops.
The majority of the movie takes place in the inside of a tank with a group of American soldiers in 1945 in Nazi Germany. The entire movie feels very claustrophobic, as it's supposed to, much like another movie that David Ayer wrote from inside a submarine, U-571. However, the best scene in the movie actually takes place in the apartment of a small torn-up town that's been half blown to pieces. The tension in that scene is off the charts and the mood changes on a dime from funny to sad to anxious. It's a pretty great 15 minutes of film.
Well, fuck me if Shia LeBeouf isn't really good in this. Maybe not enough that would make me watch all his movies with him, but he's really freaking good in this.
A quick little shout out to Michael Pena too, who's pretty good in pretty much everything he's in.
Is there a movie where Jon Bernthal isn't a raging asshole? Don't get me wrong, he plays the role extremely well, I mean, I hate his guts in just about everything...and you're supposed to. I just want to see him in a different skin of a character and see what he can do. I think I would appreciate his asshole roles even more if I saw him under another light.
Speaking of being a little typecast, Logan Lerman plays the rookie soldier, fresh out of boot camp and unseasoned in the cruelties of war. He has that innocent kid game down pat, I'll give him that, and he's young enough where he can grow into playing other types of characters, and hopefully he does. I like what he does now and I have confidence he can grow as an actor in the future.
Fury is a solid step in a different genre direction for David Ayer and is well acted by the entire group inside the tank. It may not be in that top tier of war movies but it's solidly in that second tier.