Director David Ayer has long been working on the fringes of “Oscar movie” land, steadily churning out dark and dramatic films that should be a part of the awards conversation, but rarely are (remember how good Jake Gyllenhaal was in End of Watch? and how he probably should have been a part of the Oscar buzz back in 2012?). But is that about to change with this fall’s Fury, a World War II-set feature film that’s led by no less than Brad Pitt? Maybe.
Too bad, however, that Pitt’s hardcore Army sergeant character is named “Wardaddy,” which weirdly smacks of Sucker Punch or similar. No one’s name is actually “Wardaddy” (and it’s sure as heck a weird nickname), and it’s kind of strange to see that small detail juxtaposed with what looks to be a very intense, very dramatic war film. Perhaps it should have been changed in the scripting stages, but we’ll stop ragging on it (for now).
The film’s official synopsis is nice and simple and is hopefully more reflective of the film’s spirit (you know, versus that bad character name): “April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.”
The film also stars Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, and Jason Isaacs, and from the looks of the film’s first trailer, a large part of Fury will focus on Lerman’s newbie tank driver getting thrust into the fog of war with a bunch of guys who have already seen way too much, and how the cherub-cheeked kid deals with what he’s asked to do (which is a clever way to enter into both the film itself and its characters, who all seem extremely bonded). In short, even in trailer format, it’s pretty stunning. Take a look:
Also, it co-stars a tank named “Fury,” so while it may be hard to tell if Ayer really is going all-out on this awards thing with a little tongue-in-cheek fun, the film certainly looks entertaining and bold and upsetting, which is what all great war films should aim for. Match that up with some realistic-looking sets, props, and tone and a stacked cast, and we’re pretty much sold on this thing already. The promise of Brad Pitt delivering more hard-bitten war platitudes doesn’t sound so bad, either, and it’s certainly a nifty twist on his Inglourious Basterds character (read: a much less fun one).
Fury opens on November 14th, which is a very awards-friendly release date (not that we’re talking about awards right now).
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