Fury Blu-ray Review

     Actors: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña
  • Director: David Ayer
  • Writer: David Ayer
  • Format: Blu-ray, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Dubbed: French
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • Release Date: January 27, 2015
  • Run Time: 134 minutes


            It is fitting to say that Fury is clearly a David Ayer film, despite the fact that he has finally found a narrative outside of the crime film, which seems to be his genre of choice. There are many thematic elements shared in common with his other filmography, and bonds of war make the themes of brotherhood (which he discovered to be more critically lucrative in End of Watch than his usual corrupt cop spiel, such as Sabotage) easily adaptable. But it is also clearly a David Ayer film because, like his filmography, it is vastly uneven. 


    While elements of the unsentimental WWII film are more realistic and honest than a vast majority of war films, there are also large sequences of dialogue that feel contrived and/or unnecessary. Themes and an overall message take control of the film’s plot, often leading characters into unrealistic verbal altercations. While the war action is all spot-on, the additional scenes seem merely formed around thematic ideas Ayer intended to be presented. While the visual storytelling is admittedly nearly flawless in conception and execution, it often feels disjointed from the verbal narrative.


    Part of this visual storytelling also comes from the performances. The entire storyline is simply a journey into Nazi Germany near the end of World War II, made by a Sherman tank and the five-man crew. There is no real end goal in sight, leaving much of the dynamics of the story in the personalities of the men sharing the tank. Brad Pitt gives a more sincere rehash of his Inglourious Basterds performance with the role of Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier. Aside from his nickname being on-the-nose, Pitt gives his typical committed performance, and the rest of the cast follows suit.


    Despite Pitt’s attention-commanding performance, he is not actually the film’s protagonist. This honor belongs to a rookie soldier, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), thrown into the tank without any prior experience of war. We are able to see the horrors of war through his eyes, as the aimless path is littered with opportunities for him to become a man, in more ways than one. Norman has the unfortunate task of replacing a man that was friend to Wardaddy and the other three tank members (Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal). They forcefully insist that Norman quickly advance in the ways of war, from killing to sleeping with the local German women. Many of these scenes seem a bit too convenient, but all is forgiven and forgotten when Ayer begins to tell his story through the exchange of gunfire rather than words.


    The Blu-ray release features the 4K mastered presentation, along with a Digital HD copy of the movie. It seems that the only special feature on the DVD release is a featurette with the cast and crew discussing the ordeals of filming in a tank, but the Blu-ray has a handful of additional exclusive extras. This includes over 50 minutes of deleted and extended scenes, which is appreciated in trying to understand the full intention of Ayer’s vision, though I would have preferred and actual extended cut. Ayer also provides his filming journal for the extras, alongside a featurette about the real men who used to man these Sherman tanks, and one about the practicality of fighting in one of them. There is also a production photo gallery.     


    Entertainment Value: 8/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 7/10

    Historical Significance:  6/10

    Special Features: 7/10



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