Writer/director David Ayer (End of Watch) goes back in time to the final year of WWII in the upcoming historical drama/thriller, Fury. The initial trailer for said war movie, which can be viewed above, offers a small taste of Ayer’s trademark down and dirty filmmaking approach, while also briefly touching on the 300-esque conflict at the heart of the film’s narrative (as featured in Ayer’s original script) – wherein a Sherman tank crew of five Americans battles hundreds of German soldiers from behind enemy lines.
The first Fury trailer, however, is arguably most effective at establishing that Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) – seemingly the youngest and least-experienced member of Sergeant Wardaddy’s (Brad Pitt) tank crew – serves as the guide for the audience, into this cinematic recreation of the final, violent, days of the second World War. Beyond that, the footage also touches upon the sense of brotherhood among the men of Wardaddy’s team – something that was alluded to during interviews with the cast in a previously-released sneak peek video for the film.
Similar to the storyline in his U-571 script, Ayer’s Fury screenplay looks as though it strays away from the facts, in order to stack the odds against the film’s protagonists – and create a “few versus many” melodramatic setup that tends to be popular with moviegoers, but is also capable of providing worthwhile entertainment, if handled well. By comparison, the film’s aesthetics, such as the production design by Andrew Menzies (3:10 to Yuma), seem to be more grounded in realism – though, no doubt, those who specialize in WWII knowledge will have the final say, on that aspect of the movie
Ayer is better known for his writing (Fast and the Furious, Training Day) than for his directing (Street Kings, Sabotage). That has a lot to do with Ayer’s tendency to be rather inconsistent and hit/miss with his execution as a director, which is why he has a number of poorly-received commercial titles, as well as a handful of accomplished personal filmmaking efforts to his name.
Judging by the trailer footage and details released so far, though, Fury is a project that Ayer really poured his passion into getting made - which is good news for the moviegoing public, as well as studio heads who’ve positioned the film to reach theaters in the middle of the upcoming awards season race. Indeed, between that and being armed with a supporting cast that includes such reliable character actors as Michael Peña (reuniting with Ayer after End of Watch) and Jon Bernthal (The Wolf of Wall Street) plus a subdued Shia LaBeouf in tow, things are looking good for Pitt’s onscreen return to WWII.
Sandy Schaefer blogs at Screen Rant.