Friday, March 6, 2015

Short Attention Span Review: Fury (2014)

I really wanted to like Fury.  Honestly, I expected to.  I had heard nothing but good things about it and the ad campaign made it look like just the kind of picture that I was hoping for.  Before we talk about all the things that went wrong, let's discuss the things the picture did right in the interest of fairness.  First off, Brad Pitt was outstanding.  No surprise there.  The rest of the cast was up to the challenge, and even the toxic presence of Shia LaBeouf didn't derail Fury.  Honestly, he was actually very good in his part, and that's a hard thing for me to say.  I still hope and pray that he is truly retired, but only time will tell.  The costumes and the effects were top-notch, and early on the action was brutal and convincing.  Sounds like a winner, right?  So how did Fury go wrong?  The direction was okay, so I'm not going to throw David Ayer under the bus on that front, but the story is another matter altogether.  Boy, oh boy, was there a war movie cliche that didn't pop up in this one?  Despite the intensity and grit that the actors brought to their roles, every character in the film is a war movie caricature.  The plot leaves a lot to be desired, mostly due to two woeful offenses.  Fist, there's a lengthy, absurd, and totally contrived sequence with a pair of German ladies in the middle of Fury that was supposed to give the picture heart and drama and wound up giving me a dramatic case of heartache instead.  Secondly, when we get to the impossible mission that brings the picture to a close, things truly fall apart.  The movie staggers across the finish line after subjecting us to one of the most ludicrous action scenes that I've ever seen, and I enjoyed The Big Hit.  It's not that the battle at the end of Fury is dumb, as that would be giving this attempt at a rousing finale far too much credit.  It's beyond dumb.  It's dumber than dumb.  It's dumber than Dumb & Dumber.  It makes anything that happened in 300 seem like a startlingly realistic depiction of combat.  The enemy soldiers that our hardened band of heroes square off against in the closing reel of Fury had the military expertise and fighting spirit of the ducks in the NES masterpiece Duck Hunt.  Sometimes you watch a movie with high expectations and you're too hard on it if it fails to meet these expectations.  I don't think that was the case here.  I wanted a lot from Fury, that is true, but it didn't just fall short of my expectations.  It absolutely tanked.

Final Grade: D
"It's okay kid, the enemy soldiers we're going to encounter at the end
of the movie couldn't take Mickey, Donald, and Goofy in a firefight."

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