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Intense, macho tank drama

Intense, macho tank drama
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Highlights

For a war movie to catch on these days, it has to break ground, for we seem to have seen them all, heard them too. ‘Fury’ does that even though it is set towards the end of World War II, the autumn of ’45.

For a war movie to catch on these days, it has to break ground, for we seem to have seen them all, heard them too. ‘Fury’ does that even though it is set towards the end of World War II, the autumn of ’45.

Still from 'Fury'

The action is centred on an M4A3EB Sherman tank named “Fury” and its five-man crew. It is set in the European theatre of war and in Germany too. Headed by Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), there’s Gunner Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Trini “Gorda” Garcia (Michael Pena) and greenhorn assistant driver Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) who says, “I learned to type 60 words a minute, not to kill….”

But Don Collier soon takes him under his wing. “Ideas are peaceful, reality is violent,” goes a line to elucidate. Ellison is blooded into killing his first Kraut, kneeling/waiting to be shot with Collier virtually squeezing his finger and the trigger in all of two/three minutes. This is surely breaking new ground. The others are also characters, one holy and hence “Bible” and another foul-mouthed and therefore “Coon-Ass.” Most of the action is in the German countryside with civilians in the mix.

But the visuals are graphic, many close-ups, almost hand-to-hand combat. Even gory. With the Nazis retreating there is also a graphic sequence of higher-ups committ- ing suicide after a wild night of revelry/ drinking. New ground again.

Director David Ayer does well to sandwich the war with the peace and even the meeting between Collier and Ellison with two frauleins is sensitively dealt with. Collier again giving Ellison a helping hand. Ayer’s screenplay is precise with action speaking louder than words. But he tends to get indulgent in the last quarter and the five-man army doing the impossible –- like cowboys and Indians.

But that is forgivable in the context of the overall picture. Brad Pitt does well to underplay the lead role and he is ably supported by established cameo players like Shia LaBeouf and Michael Pena. Newcomer Logan Lerman has the talent to go places and Alicia von Rittberg shows enough emotion in a fleeting role.

Yes, ‘Fury’ is well worth watching.

Fury

Cast : Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, John Bernthal & Logan Lerman

Direction : David Ayer

Genre : Action-drama

Rating : ****Screenplay Hardly any

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