Monday, October 20, 2014

Brad Pitt Leads His Team During WWII In 'Fury'

Brad Pitt
 By Darlene Donloe

Brad Pitt’s latest film, Fury, takes him behind enemy lines during the waning days of WWII.

The film, which came in #1 at the box office last weekend, is an up close and personal look at a tank crew led by Pitt.

The story is both intriguing and unsettling. There are scenes where the tight quarters of the tank leaves the audience feeling somewhat claustrophobic. It’s so real , anxiety sets in.

Setting the scene: It’s April, 1945. The Allies are making their final push in the European Theatre.  A battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and its five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to defeat Nazi Germany.

This action/drama is a fascinating character study about the mettle and heart it took to confront war on a daily basis, in tight quarters with your fellow GIs, for years.  What’s it like to be shot at daily? What’s it like to watch your friend get blown to bits? What’s it like to kill the enemy both long range and short range? How to maintain any semblance of sanity? Does anyone come out of a war unscathed?

The action sequences put the audience right into the thick of things. It’s intense! It’s scary!  It’s realistic!  The audience comes out battered and bruised just like actors.  There is plenty of bang, bang, shoot ‘em up, plenty of gore, plenty of unbridled violence – but it’s justified. War is hell even when it’s helmed by Pitt.

This is Brad Pitt’s movie.  While he’s been confronted by Nazis before (Quentin Tarantino’s Inglorious Basterds), this film show’s Pitt’s true acting range.  He’s a hard nosed tank leader one minute and a tender hearted human being the next. 

Director David Ayer’s (End of Watch/ Sabotage) ensemble cast is brilliant.   

Shia LaBeouf

Shia LaBeouf does his best work – EVER!  He nearly steals the movie from Pitt. Complete with a self-inflicted scar (adding character) and a slight accent, LaBeouf leaps head first into the fray with a noteworthy performance.

Michael Pena, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal and Jason Isaacs are equally impressive as GIs who have formed an immovable bond.

Michael Pena

Hold on to your hats for the last 30 minutes of the film.  The anxiety level is palpable.

The film is so memorable, I found myself thinking about it days later.  Couldn’t shake it!

Ayers and his team have created a solid WWII film. Kudos to everyone involved.

Fury is Rated R. Running time: 2 hr 15 min.

On the DONLOE SCALE: D (don’t bother), O (oh, no), N (needs work), L (likeable), O (oh, yeah) and E (excellent), Fury gets an E.

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