Monday, 27 October 2014

REVIEW - FURY (DAVID AYER)


The horrors of war are translated into pure cinematic horror in Fury, David Ayer's exploitation-film account of the fortunes of an American tank in Germany in the closing days of WWII. Ayer employs crass action cliches either to accentuate and intensify the grimness of the circumstances or to leaven their impact; these circumstances can, independent of one another, be justified - their depiction possibly less so. It's not a portrait of a moment in time, one of undeniable depravity, but a celebration of the depraved power that these depictions can possess. Fury is technically impressive, and thus perhaps even more reprehensible, but not easy to dismiss. Though imagined with more ferocity than ingenuity, Ayer's concept of a dwindling conflict, fought by duelling sides of ideological maniacs, is vivid and memorable. It has a nasty kick, with Paul Ottosson's typically brutish sound design, a kick that renders Fury like a particularly polished video game, one with power and potency indeed, but still little more than an ode to the details of violent death as designed by artists in the entertainment business. Fury has the slickly sombre timbre of a film that intends to convey the numbing effect of mass-scale savagery on its audience, though also one that relies upon said savagery to engage said audience. It revels in its bloodlust, simultaneously hoping to use it to evoke disgust. I was more disgusted by the characters - heroes, supposedly, their callous camaraderie a shameless device present to cover up the more tasteless aspects of their hypocritical brutality. I can withstand any length of film in the company of such wretched boors as these, but Ayer's pushing it with such rancid reverence for their activities. That's the real horror of Fury.