Tuesday, 28 October 2014


When I watched the very underrated End Of Watch last year, I thought that David Ayer would have been a great choice to make a war film, because the relationship he created between two police officers would have worked just as well with a group of soldiers. When I heard he was directing Fury I thought he was a perfect choice. I did however worry a little bit when his earlier film Sabotage came out and was pretty awful. Maybe I should have worried more because I saw Fury last night and I was not a fan.

I went into this film thinking that it would be a realistic portrayal of war centred on the friendships created from a five man tank crew. I was wrong. This film is is heightened macho war film made for a Call of Duty audience that focuses on Norman, a young soldier who has to endure a tank trip with a bunch of American bullies. Yes the actors were good in their roles, played by Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Berthnal and Michael Pena but they are horrible people and completely unlikeable, apart from Logan Lerman's character, Norman, who you feel sorry for, but even his character by the end of the film is rushed into becoming a bit of douchebag like the rest of them.

I'm not saying that this isn't a realistic portrayal of war because the characters weren't nice, but the writing would always contradict itself. The crew like to say how Brad Pitt's 'War Daddy' character is the only reason they are still alive, but continue to try and anger him throughout. War Daddy himself proclaims that the controversial decisions he makes are to keep his crew alive but he continues to make reckless decisions that put them in harms way.

Norman is forced to live with these people who pick on him and hit him and force him to do things, but only because 'they're keeping him and themselves alive'. I didn't buy it, they just came across as macho American bullies who I had no affection for. The script attempted to justify their behaviour, but the odd half hearted apology to poor Norman didn't work for me. These guys never came across as friends, more just like guys who had to put up with each other. There was no bonding and the brother's in arms attitude that comes in by the end of the film just feels forced.

There are some good scenes in the film, I particularly liked one that is set in house with two women, but again by the end it is flawed because Ayer writes every female character in this film as easy, and would happily sleep with his characters if they gave them food or showed any kind of affection towards them. This was Ayer's problem in Sabotage as well, the women were so badly written that they just all sounded the same.

The film itself looks great, the cinematography is very good and there are hardly any special effects, unfortunately this is let down by the writing and the storyline. The action looks good and is really well done but once you've seen one set piece then you've seen them all, it all got a bit boring by the end. And be warned, because of the use of tracers in the guns the action will sometimes look like the crew are fighting Hydra rather than The SS.

As you can tell, I was pretty disappointed by this film, I wanted so much more from it. I enjoyed watching Logan Lerman and I think he was definitely the best thing about the film but I wish some thought had been put into the other characters so I could have cared for them, no matter whether they were good or bad people. If you want a dumb Call of Duty like action film then go see Fury. If you want a unrealistic pulpy but fun portrayal of Nazi killing then go watch Inglorious Basterds instead. If you want a seriously good World War Two film then go watch Saving Private Ryan. I am rating Fury 2/5.

I know a lot of people liked this film, so feel free to let me know what you think in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Gone Girl

It's really hard to talk about thrillers, especially ones with as many twists and turns as Gone Girl has, but I will try my best. I read the novel in which the film is adapted from not so long ago so it was pretty fresh in my mind. Whilst reading I thought this book would be one hell of a difficult adaptation but with David Fincher behind the reigns I wasn't too worried, even if his last adaptation was an unneeded film because the Swedish original adaptation of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo was so good. I can tell you now that Gone Girl is an absolutely brilliant adaptation that is faithful to the novel as well as being an incredibly thrilling and brilliant film.

Gone Girl follows Nick played by Ben Affleck who comes home one day to find his wife has disappeared. That is really as much as I can tell you as anything else would be considered spoiler territory. The whole film is one big crazy story that will constantly have you on the edge of your seat trying to figure out the characters.

Ben Affleck really shines in his role and pulls off the emotionally detached character of Nick Dunne perfectly. However it is Rosamund Pike who steals the show as Amy Dunne the missing wife. The whole cast of the film is great and even give actors like Neil Patrick Harris and Tyler Perry room to show off their acting chops. Nobody has a bad performance throughout.

The film itself looks great and the beautiful cinematography associated with Fincher films is at play yet again creating a brilliant atmosphere which is added to by the eerie but wonderful soundtrack that gives an off putting vibe to the feel of the film. The editing is also really dramatic and the movie moves along like in fast paced segments that feel like short chapters of a book. Yes Fincher pretty much adapts the book beat by beat but in a way that is still entertaining for those who have read it. I for one was just enjoying seeing how he did it because I would have had no clue where to start but he made it so easy. I guess that's down to having the auther Gillian Flynn write the screenplay as well.

I highly recommend this film. It's dark and disturbing but a really clever portrayal of a couple's relationship and the invasion of privacy and fear mongering of the media. The two and a half hour running time flies by with the ever gripping and changing plot line.

This may be quite a short review but is a film that is difficult to talk about but one you will want to discuss for hours on end afterwards. If you're going to see any film this weekend then go see this one. It's another David Fincher masterpiece. It's also one of the best films you will see this year. I'm giving Gone Girl a rating of 5/5.

Let me know what you thought of the film in the comments below.

Thanks for reading!