Hey folks, it’s been a while. I guess you could say it was a lack of inspiration, a lack of watching films and trying to figure out how to balance, work, life, marriage and toddler that keeps me from spouting off about every title I see. And to be totally honest, I have been on quite a movie sabbatical over the last few years. Besides, BoxOfficeBoredom.com had Matthew Parkinson, the legendary movie per day review writing super freak. I’m certainly not Matthew but this dog still has remembered a few tricks from his olden days and it’s time to dust off the keyboard and get back to business.
I made the choice to watch Fury a couple of weeks ago and the film is still fresh in my mind even weeks later. My mind keeps mulling over this World War 2 Nazi hunting tank adventure starring Brad Pitt and friends. The film chronicles a boisterous tank commander (Brad Pitt) who is on a mission to destroy Nazis with his rag tag crew of trusted companions and their young new recruit who is literally fresh off the boat and has never seen the hellish nature of war. It’s supposedly a gritty tale, showing both the good and bad side of the war and the true despicable lines people cross during war time. In war there are no heroes, only villains and the true villainous side is in the eye of the beholder. Sadly, quality story telling must be in the eye of the beholder as well because if this film is the best they can churn out, then it is truly time to go back to the drawing board.
I’m not going to beat around a bush here; I hated the main characters. Brad Pitt’s character was an absolute jerk who showed no compassion and was just all around a despicable man still trying to hold on to the small shred of decency he once had before heading to war. His partners in crime were the most stereotypical thrown together group of rough around the edges thugs you could assemble. Somehow this film felt that if you put a new recruit in close quarters with these awful characters we would grow to love them and care about their well being. The problem is this group has you pulling away from them right from the start so it is hard to have any feelings towards anyone in the film. I quickly learned I cared nothing for the lives of these people. Of course you don’t wish death upon anyone but I really had no vested interest on if these guys survived or not. In fact, I found myself many times just rooting for the ending to come rather than follow this character study journey any further. Pitt was truly awful in his role. I kept wishing for a shred of quality coming from him, but I never saw it. I kept hoping for an Inglorious Basterds performance to sneak out by accident but instead I got a performance that was almost as dry and emotionless as the entire film.
The film makers spend way too much time plodding along and trying to show scenes of marching Nazis, some disjointed cannon fire and random exploding tanks, killing a teams of people you have never really gotten to know or care about. It works its way until of course Pitt and company are traveling alone and heading on what seems to be a destined suicide mission. Along the way we get to be the unwilling viewing participants in a German home where Pitt tries to hook his new recruit up with a German girl and has the most awkward meal ever with the mother and daughter. The scene was long and drug out and in many ways just was pointless filler for a love story that never had a chance to develop and a plot device that made the Fury‘s crew look even more scummy than they already did. By the time we get to a point we should care about these guys on there 1 vs. 1000 mission you just don’t care about them. In some ways you start thinking that these guys may finally get what they deserve.
The film doesn’t even succeed at making you feel upset by the landscape of the war. There are scenes literally of bodies being lined up for mass burials and a scene where someone drives over a dead body submerged in mud with a tank. You barely flinch. It feels fake and forced. I felt so heartless not caring about it but the film did such a great job of not pulling on any heart strings that it is hard to shed a tear let alone keep your eyes open. Yet, I persisted in finishing the film hoping something would come of this cinematic adventure I was on.
I came to realize that while I liked the idea of Fury by watching a preview the film just plodded along and could not deliver. I was counting the minutes to the ending of the film and could not get engrossed in it. I felt distanced from all the main characters, I felt no emotion towards any of the people in the film and couldn’t care less about anyone in the film. It’s hard to cheer for the heroes of the film when you spend the first hour plus showing us why they don’t deserve an ounce of our respect. Then suddenly the film thinks you’ll jump behind their heroic stand off and it will have you vested in their survival. Sorry folks, it doesn’t work like that. You got to make us care and Fury could not do that. I’m sure that if I keep thinking about it I could find some more redeemable parts of the film but fact of the matter is that the bad outweighs the good here. Why dwell on it and try to convince you to watch a film that should just be forgotten. Skip this one folks. You won’t be missing much.