Behold, a glorious poster for Fury, the forthcoming war drama (opening in November) starring Brad Pitt and assorted thespians of the male gender. If the movie is great (a big if) this is the kind of poster that would become iconic. It's almost mythic already, what with the perfect but unexpected composition, evocative mood, stormy color and the title painted on the tank's gun.
The trailer also came out this week so let's break that down with our Yes No Maybe So system after the jump...
• Well it looks classy. Or as classy as you can look when you're covered in mud and talking non-stop about killing. By which I mean it looks like a serious war drama and not a 'rah-rah, let's kill' drama
• The opening moments play like an early Oscar FYC for Cinematography. The DP is Roman Vasyanov who previously lensed Ayer's End of Watch as well as the moody thriller The East. But his earlier feature, the colorful Russian musical Hipsters (see it if you get a chance!) suggests he has a lot of range.
• You could probably do a "best shot" episode just from the trailer - unless they included most of the great images already.
• The editor is Dody Dorn who is very good at sustained tension and action setpieces (think T2: Judgment Day, Memento... or even the second act of Australia)
• End of Watch, writer/director David Ayer's previous feature, was surprisingly good given its exceedingly familiar genre and suggests he has a deft touch when it comes to directing male camarederie, you are there crises, and heroism under pressure. All of those skills will serve him well here.
• ♥ Brad Pitt. Always have. And characters with memorable names on screen like "Wardaddy" win any movie bonus points. Pitt is aging so well, so much gravitas onscreen. It's like he barely has to do anything anymore to convey.
• And then there's the supporting cast. They're all fine actors, especially Michael Peña who really needs to get the attention his co-stars usually get. Regarding LaBeouf: you can be troubled/crazy and still basically good at your job. I just hope he gets it together before we get really bad news one morning, if you know what I mean.
• "Deals are peaceful. History is violent" / "best job I ever had" potentially memorable / quotable dialogue
• This movie looks serious. Which is a good thing. Unless it's super self serious, which it might well be.
• War dramas often have confusing muddled and troubling politics, not just in 'what it means to be a man' (zzzz) which is primally reduced to Real Men Kill Superbly (Rambo, Braveheart, thousands more) or the less common but similar curveball Real Men Are Brutally Killed Spectacularly Like Martyrs For Their Country (Lone Survivor, 300). Even anti-war dramas often dwell so long on their gruesome moments it's like they're a recovering addict ditching their sobriety. Can this movie find that balance between conveying violence and heroism without revelling in violence and sadism?
• Logan Lerman looks to have the key role since he's nervous/hesitant about killing (what's his arc like?) and he's also younger and prettier and the audience surrogate as the outsider to the 'family' inside that tank. He also appears to have at least a cameo love interest. Will he stick out like a sore thumb in ways that go beyond that his character sticks out?
• How is this going to compare to other war dramas that worked wonders with claustrophic settings like submarines (Das Boot, 1981) or tanks like this one (Lebanon, 2009). Will it really convey the interior of the tank or be focused on the action outside of it. Tricky balance for action scenes.
What do you think of it... Oscar contender? Yes No or Maybe So and for which parts?
Tell us in the comments