Writer-director David Ayer has followed up his exceptional Los Angeles cop on the street beat End of Watch with an even more impressive hard-hitting film that is sure to be nominated for a Best Picture Oscar.
Might even win.
The battles are brutal – physically and psychologically; but the inevitable emotional release following the combat challenges the soul.
A note struck repeatedly in Ayer’s script is the struggle to find humanity, compassion, and mercy in the barbaric teeth of battle. Rough stuff for sure.
What this cast, led by Pitt and aided substantially by Shia LeBeouf, is able to capture is the bond formed between men immersed in perpetual carnage. The squad’s mantra “Best job I ever had,” eerily transitions from tongue-in-cheek to sincerity from shared experience of intense trauma – and the adrenaline produced to survive it.
The cinematography of Roman Vasyanov is exceptional. Unlike Saving Private Ryan which displayed to the world the innovative visual skills of Janusz Kaminski, Fury plays closer to films like Kelly’s Heroes or A Bridge Too Far, but with the required claustrophobic intimacy of the great Das Boat.
This film is bold enough to ask the big questions rather than just provide the simple answer that war is indeed hell.
It’s even bold enough to offer up a hint of mysticism.
He who does God’s will will live forever.