A film, food, travel & lifestyle blog by Sophie Elizabeth

9 November 2014

Film Review: Fury (David Ayer, 2014) ★★★

Brad Pitt stars as war veteran Don 'Wardaddy' Collier
It's April 1945 and the allies are making their final push in to the European theatre of war. Lead by a battle-hardened U.S Army Sergeant Wardaddy (Pitt), the 66th Armoured Regiment, 2nd Armoured Division are outnumbered and outgunned - thrusted in to an attack behind enemy lines with a rookie as their latest recruit. The few remaining survivors on their previous mission, aptly named, 'Fury' is about to embark on yet another ravage of conflict, battling the overwhelming odds against them in a bid to move ever-closer to winning the war against Nazi Germany.

Entering the war zone is the surviving crew of tank named Fury; a team comprised of a hardened Staff Sergeant, Don 'WarDaddy' Collier (Pitt), gunner and mechanic Grady 'Coon-Ass' Travis (Jon Bernthal of The Walking Dead), Boyd 'Bible' Swan (Shia LaBeouf) and  driver Trini 'Gordo' Garcia (Michael Peña). Having survived together since North Africa, the men are bound by their shared horrific experiences of war and are less than impressed by their latest recruit in the form of Norman (Logan Lerman), a reluctant typist thrust on to the front line. Despised by his fellow passengers, Norman is reluctant to shoot or kill Germans and it soon transpires that he has never worked in more then an office, let alone faced the ravages of war. On the road to war, Norman must prove himself worthy of Fury - a tank and a home to the four who have seen hell from her cockpit.

The opening credits are promising - stylised and encouraging set up for the film. As a war film it is naturally added to ranks in competing with the likes of its predecessors, the likes of Saving Private Ryan (1998), Apocalypse Now (1979). Naturally, it is hard to fill the boots of such genre classics but it attempts it nether the less. The narrative's set up is much the same of Saving Private Ryan - the characters are nicknamed; each by their defining qualities. Wardaddy is an All-American, more disturbed version of Tom Hank's portrayal of a PTSD striken Captain Miller. Bible and Coon-Ass offer a less relatable Private Mellish and Caparzo (Adam Goldberg and Vin Diesel) while Gordo is a token Mexican simular to that of Giovanni Ribsi's character. Further more it mirrors the films mission as it follows a small group of men on a (seemingly) suicide mission, left under armed and unprepared to take on the unsuspecting perils of war. Like that of the men in Saving Private Ryan, the men are reluctant to return to life outside of war as they no longer how to exist beyond it - living instead for the brotherhood of their fellow soldiers. In many ways the four veterans are depicted as monsterous - forcing Norman to shoot a cowering German POW, almost killing for sport. But like all monsters, they have their few redeeming moments where we see beyond the effect war as had on them.

Similarly still is the lengths of detail explored to give a true depiction of the hells of war and the trauma experienced silently by the men, a common symptom of PTSD. Wardaddy is visibly and mentally scarred by burns whilst Gordo, Bible and Coon-Ass have taken a rebellious and boundary-free approach to their madness. Like lost children, they rely on Wardaddy's leadership for approval and limitations of their behaviour. Known primarily for his cinematography, David Ayer presents a new level of depth to his production, unlike seen his previous titles such as Hard Times (2005) and End of Watch (2012).

 This is shocking then, when Fury showcases its first showdown in a scene which is reminiscent of Star Wars: A New Hope. Much to surprise of the audience, the shots fired from Fury are that of bright red and blue lasers and firework explosions which are off-putting and almost spoil the entire production value of the film. This is saved however, by the final scenes which offer a moving and hard-hitting depiction of war. Joining arms, four men against an SS army of hundreds, the men refuse to leave the home they find in their beloved Fury. Though a somewhat predictable narrative and outcome, the journey is moving none the less. Brad Pitt offers yet another stunning performance as a disturbed and trauma stricken Sergeant. LaBeouf showing himself to be a method actor in this picture, asserts himself as a promising future candidate of Academy nominations.

Overall, Fury presents a moving tale of men bound together by war and a refreshing reminder of the horrors of war. Though an attempt to fill the shoes of other war classics, it falls short by its somewhat lacking narrative and cinematography that does not deliver all it promises. In conclusion, Fury gets a Sophie star rating of 3 out of 5 - well worth a watch with just a few minors that pulls it back.

Hope everyone has had a great weekend and a thoughtful Remembrance Sunday. I've been wearing my poppy all month and hope you guys have been too for what ever it symbolises to you. Unfortunately due to the weather I haven't been able to do an outfit but thought I'd share a sunday portrait. I'm wearing a red lace dress by H&M which you can find here, a poppy by Monsoon (from a few years back) and my signature H&M fedora. Below are some photos from back in October when I visited the Tower of London for mine and Jack's anniversary. It's very moving - definitely go if you get a chance.

Some of you may have noticed that Popcorn and Glitter had a little bit of a makeover this week! I'd love to hear what you guys think of it's new style. I felt like it was due an upgrade and a refresh after a year. Hope everyone has a great week and don't forget to have your minutes silence on November 11th,


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