Daniel B. Silver


On Fury

 

I like WWII movies just fine, I guess.

I mean, like, Saving Private Ryan was great. And, you know, Where Eagles Dare was great. Band of Brothers (Yes, I know it’s a miniseries; leave me alone!) was great. Schindlers List was brilliant. There’s plenty to love.

Lots of fantastic films have been made about the second WORLD WAR. I could go on and on. And don’t get pissed because you were all in on Pearl Harbor and I didn’t include it in the brief list above. (Also, if you were super into Pearl Harbor, I’m pretty sure your favorite TV show is American Idol and you eat crayons and tell people it’s a hobby. You are probably a sex offender, honestly.)

As Americans, we like to look at WWII as the time when we all rallied together and saved the day and – therefore – the World. (I capitalize the word world there, because it’s the same “World” that we are champions of when our sports teams win championships that span the territory of the US and then maybe a little bit of Canada, which is basically just more of Minnesota.) Anyhow, this concept of saving everything is kinda true. American soldiers, sailors, marines, airmen, etc. sacrificed their lives by the many thousands to stop the forces of imperialism and – frankly – evil. They deserve our thanks and honor for that. Though, the narrative we tend to go by does not have a whole lot of inclusion of the countries who fought for several years before we ‘Mericans got involved… but what we got is what we got, folks. So, I’m sorry, England, but USA USA USA USA DID YOU ENJOY WATCHING MATT RYAN AND MATT STAFFORD BATTLE IT OUT THIS WEEK AT WEMBLY OF COURSE YOU DID EAT OUR FREEDOM FOOTBALL SANDWICH COMMIES WOOOOHOOOOO!!

Is it just me or is Matt Ryan the human equivalent of Wonder Bread? I digress.

Back to it… In the modern era of WWII filmmaking, basically everything since Shaving Ryan’s Privates, we have been offered a smattering of films that make no effort to minimize the depictions of violence and horror perpetrated by all participants in that conflict, and BOY HOWDEEE is Fury no exception to that!

You want to see a German soldier run over by a tank and squished into a red, chunky paste? How about a little bit of overt, conquering sexual assault? Did you find Black Hawk Down to be overly tame when it came to body parts being scattered about the battlefield and also hopelessness? Do you like it when literally everyone dies before your eyes? Do you like Brad Pitt’s abs? Can you please shut up about Brad Pitt’s abs? Then do we have the film for you!*

Fury is one of those movies that you only ever need to see once and then you’ll be all, “Yeah I’m good. That happened. That was a thing.” I’m not saying it’s in any way bad; it’s just horrific and bleak and you will need numerous cocktails to hopefully forget some of what you just saw. That shit is GROSS, my man... except for Brad’s sexy, sexy shirtless form. Asshole looks like he’s been assembled out of clay. He’s still ripped like in Fight Club. Damn him. I bet he doesn’t even know what pizza smells like.

My point is that violence in movies can be used for either entertainment or moralizing. Fury is heavily steeped in the latter, but there’s another movie in theaters that is %100 the former: John Wick. John Wick is violence for the sake of shameless entertainment and it freaking works, folks. Go see John Wick. Please. It is the best original, non-comic book related action movie I can remember since probably the second Bourne flick. Just when I thought the revenge movie genre has been beaten to a bloody pulp, along comes John Wick and Keanu (duuuuude) to kick it in the ass and get it moving again.

Where this flick works so well isn’t in its ambition, it’s in its creative execution. The universe it depicts is both full of fantasy and grounded in reality (flashy clothes and cars but no Matrix-style wire-fighting). It’s got some amazing fight choreography. It’s got rather decent (Keanu) to fantastic (the bad guy) performances. It’s stylized and very well shot. The only CG I could really make out was blood effects. It probably won’t win any Academy Awards, but it does win the coveted adjective of cool.

Keanu hella kicks ass and is fifty years old. He also looks amazing with his shirt off. What do these people eat!?

*Likely Fury press release teaser.