War en­sem­ble

A mot­ley crew fights its way from north Africa to Nazi Ger­many. but the star is the tank, writes Tara Brady

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS -

FURY Di­rected by David Ayer. Star­ring Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Lo­gan Ler­man, Michael Peña 15A cert, gen re­lease, 134 min Opens next Wed­nes­day

The reptilian or lower brain con­trols ba­sic life func­tions such as breath­ing, the fight-or­flight mech­a­nism and the in­ner voice that in­sists it isn’t re­ally a proper movie un­less it has a cow­boy or a tank in it. Luck­ily, the new film from David Ayer, a proper di­rec­tor, casts not just any old tank, but a M4A3E8 Sher­man in the tit­u­lar role. It’s left to side­kick Brad Pitt’s hard-bit­ten sergeant – he’s nick­named War­daddy, so we know he’s awe­some sauce – to com­mand a so­cially and eth­ni­cally di­verse ar­moured di­vi­sion of bad-asses, in­clud­ing the Re­li­gious One (LeBeouf, on top form, much to the dis­ap­point­ment of Beouf-bash­ers), the Psy­cho One ( The Walk­ing Dead’s Jon Bern­thal), the Dam­aged One (Michael Peña) and the New Guy ( Percy Jack­son’s Lo­gan Ler­man).

To­gether, they ban­ter and bicker and work to­wards a stand-off in which they are hope­lessly out­gunned. It’s

the dy­ing days of the sec­ond World War and, hav­ing fought all the way from North Africa, the gang are on the fi­nal stretch to Berlin. Hitler has de­clared to­tal war, so women and chil­dren bear arms and SS of­fi­cers hang the non-com­pli­ant. Ayer, the keen mind be­hind

Hard Times and Deep Blue, is less sen­ti­men­tal than many Amer­i­can direc­tors. The men are never more men­ac­ing than when fight­ing among them­selves. While no one could mis­take Fury for Elem Klimov’s great Come and See, the film is de­fined by prop­erly muddy bat­tle­fields, lit­tered with corpses.

DOP Ro­man Vasyanov who pre­vi­ously col­lab­o­rated with the writer-di­rec­tor on End of

Watch, makes ter­rific use of con­fined space. Steven Price’s Teu­tonic score is ob­vi­ous, yet ef­fec­tive. Ayer’s screen­play is min­i­mal, and he clev­erly shapes Pitt’s character and per­for­mance to please fans of In­glou­ri­ous Bas­terds’ Lieu­tenant Aldo.

Fury piv­ots around a pleas­ing simplicity. Good guys do good. Nazis get shot. A proper film, in other words. Did we men­tion Fury has a tank?

This is my gun Brad Pitt as Sergeant War­daddy in Fury

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