Wednesday, 22 October 2014
Bond Of Brothers.
134 Minutes. Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal & Scott Eastwood. Director: David Ayer.
War! War! War! It seems like 'Fight Club' star Brad Pitt has been in a lot of wars lately and we're not talking about the one where the biggest and most recognizable star in Hollywood is still fighting against ironically also being one of its most underrated. From bidding wars with other top actor Leonardo DiCaprio's production company for a 'World War Z' with the zombie walking dead to even battling against racism for '12 Years A Slave'. This is the World War II acting veteran who became an 'Inglorious Basterd' of a Nazi scalper alongside Quentin Tarantino. Pitt didn't join his 'Oceans' team of George Clooney and Matt Damon for their magnificent 'Monuments Men' art heist from Hitler's Third Reich however. That's because he was in Germany putting together a fast and furious band of brothers featuring the young likes of Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal for a tank, fuel injection down the road for 'Fury'. Right now an apocalypse of a war movie this is as real, raw and hard hitting as a 'Saving Private Ryan' in the 'Das Boot' submarine, pressure container confides of tank warfare. This cabin fever immersing you and beating you senseless in its hull from your cinema seat gives us another film on the classic, epic 'Schindler's List' scale. You cant really call this harrowing horror show exciting or entertaining without losing some due respect, but boy is this brutal film brilliant.
Smoke rises from the inside of the tank, outside the port hole just like some grenades have gone off inside, but it's Pitt, the original Bradley of the Academy with a pack of cigarettes up his sleeve. Hair back and sides shaved, with an up top slicked back further than his age 50 defining years as he speaks in a traditional tone that is a throwback to his 'Basterd' character but once more with more feeling and realism. He and his crew are swearing and spitting like it's 'Moneyball' tobacco, making another big swing for the Oscars. Still no polished gold will gleam greater then the men whose medals they honour with this all too real and raw film that is anything but spit and polish Hollywood. Explosions of fireworks with no celebration and ammunition flying through the early 1900's air like futuristic lasers as men tear each other down like trees in what would otherwise be a peaceful park is all too poignantly insultingly ironic. That's the point too from people dying like its nothing in gratuitous violence that shows how much of a horrid waste war is. Showing a new generation of moviegoers who may not want to pick up a history book, just how bloody, injust and evil it got. Stopping mens hearts and destroying their souls on all sides from the most horribly awkward dinners to young boys being taught how to be men in all the wrong ways that you wouldn't dare nightmare of bringing someone up like today. We live in a watered down internet world today where we go to social media "war" over nothing. Time we remember a period where young men and their families gave everything and lost the same. It's time in this ignorant iPhone app age to stop treating this like its nothing.
This film really is something, just like its captain Brad Pitt. The master of many disguises Brad Pitt continues his 'Seven' 'A River Runs Through It', 'The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button' and 'The Assassination Of Jesse James By The Coward Robert Ford' vast versatility. Here he has you hanging on the war torn tone of his every word, whilst learning more expression from his face to face time with another man he's gone to battle with, George Clooney. Here Pitt starts by being the man that says more with a few choice grimaces then he does with a thousand words wrote home. Sure he's not the earnest "earn this" of Tom Hanks' 'Saving Private Ryan', but realer and rawer he's still admirably performing a heroes role honorably. Put this amongst his greatest roles and best works as he honours the folded flag proudly and bravely with all due diligent respect to the men that did this for real. As do the rest of Brad Pitt's crew directed by corporal director David Ayer, the writer of 'Equalizer' Antoine Fuqua's 'Training Day' classic and the man who caught some more cops on camera for the inspired 'End Of Watch', to go along with directing Arnold Schwarzenegger's 'Sabotage' this year. No wonder he's been given the comic license for the 'Suicide Squad'. Here bringing 'End Of Watch' actor Michael Pena along for the ride, who yet again shows he's more than the man who speaks for everybody about the scary scale of just a few men going against what seems like hundreds (see 'Gangster Squad'). And how about the crazy talent of the mad Jon Bernthal? Remember the guy that could sell you a pen in 'The Wolf Of Wall Street'? There's a lot of hands on deck here. Even Clint Eastwood's singing son Scott who honours the flag of his great directing father. Speaking of 'Letters From Iwo Jima', you can put 'Fury' next to this and the 'Monuments' best that show different sides of the battle of WW2. The real draws are the kids here though. 'Percy Jackson' and a Disney kid. What a revelation Logan Lerman is here, growing up on unfolding screen in more ways than one. If you thought 'The Perks Of Being A Wallflower' and 'Noah' put him on the map then this just may Google him to the Kodak Theatre. Just like Shia, who continues this transforming, 'Lawless' acting that is putting him in terrific, tear-jerking territory. Forget the cutting and non-bathing, method actor behaviour, here the man that hit big on 'Wall Street' showing 'Money Never Sleeps' is a measure and the standard of emotional brilliance. An emotional and physical film to the soul core of pain in itself, this is relentlessly violent in its teaching method, moral message. Clunking and clanking around in a tank, this film beats the living and spiritual shit out of you. The middle-aged Pitt may look the part amongst these young bucks, but aside his award worth acting, Logan and Shia's poignant and poised presence reminds us of something. The war took too many of our young and that's just one tragedy of all too many that is such an important thing to acknowledge here more than the bullets and brimstone leaving us furious. Even in the heat of battle in an all encompassing war, nobody ever really wins. But boy they should never lose our pride and honour. TIM DAVID HARVEY.