RoQ Riffs!! Ya’ll good?!?! Back with another episode of RoQyPice Theatre … “Fury”..this one.. smdh. Let me just play the preview so you can get excited.. right before you are kicked into the depths of mediocrity not unlike Simba’s father..
Anyways, here is the trailer:
Exciting right? Yeah!! TANK MOVIES!! ‘MERICA!! To summarize this movie.. it’s like watching Call of Duty.. but with less action…… and less realism.
So, the movie takes place during the end of WW2’s European Campaign; April 1945, in the heart of Germany. Furor and UK Royal Family Blood Relative, Adolph Hitler, in desperation, has ordered everyone and their mother to suit up and fight against the ironically racially segregated US army and respective allies. In historical terms, this is the part of the war where shit was getting pretty hectic.. child ss soldiers, old men firing bolt action rifles.. which, minus a scene showing some kids wearing SS gear.. was completely absent from the film. Yeah, diverging from a tangent/rant, there. Fighting.. yes.. the fighting.. the premise implied there was a lot of shit going down in the timeline, setting the film up for an intense plot.
The first scene starts off with camera focused on a german officer riding a horse down the center of the screen. As the horseman rides towards the audience, the camera pans to the left to display the wreckage of a recent tank battle: heaps of smoldering metal, pot holes.. smoke still rising from damaged vehicles. The horseman approaches a shotty tank, which is currently centerscreen. Just as he’s inspecting the tank.. BAM. Brad Pitt’s character literally leaps out of nowhere and does a damn Assassin’s Creed-esque take down.
And before we start breaking down the movie and subsequently kicking it down a into the cinematic shithole it was birthed from.. what’s with Brad and his recent affinity for cheap southern accents? Seriously…. The. Same. Accent. LOL.
It was cool, and all.. I guess they wanted to imply that it was going to be a gory film. I let it slide. Pitt’s character then returns to the tank so the film can introduce the supporting cast. Shia LeBouf and his dad’stache play the dedicated solider on a mission from God (think: Private Jackson from Saving Private Ryan). Shane from The Walking Dead plays the rough-around-the-edges second in command (think Sgt Horvath from Saving Private Ryan).. by the way.. his name in the movie is “Coon-Ass”. Uh.. who else? The main character, Norman Ellison, the “I’m not supposed to be here, I’m a typer”, which just means he’s 1940’s equivalent of a blogger.. probably meaning he’s cynical and passive aggressive.. like most bloggers. (Think of the punk ass Private Upham from Saving Private Ryan.. you know..the dude who let the funny Jewish guy take a Jadakiss hawk to the chest) . And Michael Pena as the comic relief (think of the mexican guy from Saving Private Ryan… oh, wait..). Oh…. and Brad Pitt’s character.. the .. you get the trend… his character is literally the same type of character as Tom Hanks lol.. the dedicated leader, the killer with a conscience who needs to retreat in visible-invisible places to contain some sort of psychological issue that has weighed on him since.. the Africa Campaign… (funny tidbit.. both Cpt. Miller & Sgt Horvath from Private Ryan and Pitt / Shane from Fury have served with each other from Europe dating back a few years to the African Campaign.. both duos had a friend-foe relationship.. I’m just saying.)
Let’s get on with the plot and stop with the obvious comparisons to a superior year predating this joint by a clean 16 years… SIXTEEN YEARS.. why does Private Ryan look better, sound better, and have better character development than this?? Seriously, there is absolutely no emotional attachment to any of these characters in the film.
Ellison’s character.. to put it kindly, is a pussy. This is not an insult.. I’m not someone who has had rockets fired at him long enough to become desensitized to bullets woofing by. In movie terms, however, he is a bitch. That is plainly established. In the first couple engagements, he misses opportunities to take down targets, resulting in deaths. Pitt’s character, trying to turn Ellison into a last minute soldier.. decides… the only way to make Ellison into a trained killer is to literally force him to shoot a POW in the middle of a cypher circle. A huge one. Because nobody would report this or accidentally carry this via word of mouth to superior officers.
In what seems forever, they end up in some bombed out European city and engage in firefights.. The sound effects were weak. At times, the guns on film literally sounded like GoldenEye. But yeah.. they ended up in the town. Brad Pitt and Ellison were obviously scripted to have some sort of bonding moment.. so they both crash at some german lady’s crib, who allows Ellison to screw her attractive cousin after giving her half a dozen spoiled eggs because hey, it’s war, right?
Oh.. mind you.. the only real relationship development between characters took place during this drawn out house scene… which included a 5+ minute dinner scene. Shane.. Oh wait.. “Coon-Ass” (seriously??) insisted on being a creeper on levels only rivaled by real life casanova, Bill Cosby. There is a egg-licking part there. Shane-Ass, licks the german cousin’s eggs and places them back on the plate. Why? He was mad that Pitt didn’t invite him upstairs to shave in the living room and give out stale eggs to bomb victims. In all honesty, I was confused , as well. There was literally no cohesive energy exchanged between Pitt’s character and Ellison.. there only real interaction, up to that point.. besides telling Ellison to shoot someone.. was ……. when he physically forced Ellison to shoot the POW in the back. Soooooooo… after years of tours with other warbuddies.. why would he suddenly decide to take Ellison upstairs to have an awkward shave moment ( and show his burned back to the camera.. you’re supposed to gasp at all he’s been through. I facebooked)..? Whatever.. just please get to another action scene already.
They get back on the road. Blah blah.. boring conversations from Shia LeBouf’s mustache about how he is a man of God yet needs to kill everything out there. Pena is doing his stereotypical token ethnic-guy-thing with the mexican equivalent of “oh. no. he. dinnit.”-esque catchphrases they make most black actors do in movies: Example A.
All is well.. the camp is happy… then BOOM. A mine goes off because the plot calls for it, and because you predicted something would happen. They get out of the vehicle and survey the area… they are RIGHT in the middle of a farm. As in.. dead center. Fate. Highly coincidental in movies.
Zombie-Ass, being the tech of the squad, starts working on the tank tracks and Pitt’s character tells Ellison.. of ALL PEOPLE… OF ALL PEOPLE.. to walk up about 2 miles down the road and survey the surrounding. Mind you, my man has absolutely no field training.. so reconnisance is most likely going to result in someone tagging his ass 2 miles away and his squad never finding out. Nonetheless, Ellison embarks on his trek and ends up stopping to eat rations in the middle of some bushes. During this moment he hears singing.. peers over the bushes to see what looks like an entire COMPANY (100-200) of SS Soldiers. For those who don’t give a damn about ww2 related things, SS is regular german soldier what bowzer is to regular turtle.
A HUGE portion of them were carrying things like rocket launchers… and belt-fed machine guns.. and more rocket launchers.. all marching while singing in german what sounds like “Spoonful of Sugar” by Marry Poppins. At least , it was the cadence. Maybe I was tired at this point. Whatever.
So… he does a full-on Forest Gump sprint for what the audience is to assume is two miles.. back to the camp to inform his crew. They all decide it’s best to turn tail and get the hell out of there. All of them accept for .. guess who…. DO IT. You remember me comparing things to Saving Private Ryan, right? Yes.. the “good ol soldier” Pitt. Just like Tom Fucking Hanks. Ugh.. It was literally out the SAME PLAYBOOK. Remember in the aforementioned movie, when they stumbled on some random target which had NOTHING to do with the objective.. that, if taken.. would surely result in their deaths and the obvious failing of said mission? Yeah.. it was like that but more pointless.
5 guys.. vs a WHOLE COMPANY .. of superior soldiers. Pitt decided .. “Fuck it.. I’m going to kill them all.. go on without me”. After a scripted argument of common sense between the other 4 and Pitt.. they decide.. “I’m going to stay too.” I almost heard a collective sigh from the audience. So they get to Home Alone’ing the tank in preparation to do battle in the “climactic scene”. The fight starts as expected, one peering enemy soldier gets absolutely “surprise!” blasted and the ambush commences.
What I don’t understand is… there are so many damn soldiers.. with sooooo many damn rocket launchers.. yet, they were all dying in piecemeal fashion. One after the other, after the other. That’s when the script called for everyone to just suddenly die.
I think Coon-Ass caught it first.. I believe he was shot while outside the top of the tank.. I don’t know. I was tweeting my disapproval of the movie, at this point. Yeah.. he dies. Then I think I think Michael Pena dies.. a HAND GRENADE LANDS INSIDE THE TANK… my man DIVES ON IT and NO ONE ELSE DIES INSIDE THE TANK. It was like you pulled that little bottle firecracker with the string you can get at the dollar store. *Pop* .. Pena’s dead. Ooookay. I can’t believe I’m saying this.. but this scene from Child’s Play 3 was better.
So.. that’s two of five down. How doers Shia die?? Sticks his head out of the tank while Brad Pitt (who just sustained a “flesh wound” shot to the arm courtesy of a 45) who was managing to avoid taking fatal rounds from some 60+ people , at this point, was firing away with his .50 cal. All of a sudden BOOM.. Shia takes one right in the mustache.
So.. boom. All the supporting cast dies in like 5 minutes. Should’ve been sooner. Why the hell didn’t the 10 or so dudes with rocket launchers just light the vehicle up at once?
Anyways. So it’s down to Ellison and Pitt… they’re out of ammo. And are going to fight to the bitter end. After shrugging off FOUR SNIPER ROUNDS TO THE TORSO, Pitt all but climbs down the tank hatch and tells Ellison to escape through the bottom hatch and hide. The germans open the top door and drop two grenades in , pretty much on Pitt’s lap , right as Ellison escapes. Boom. The inside blows up. Ellison hides underneath the tank until the platoon passes and once it’s safe.. ventures back inside to say goodbye to Pitt. Because you’d think he’d want to see body parts and twisted metal everywhere, right?
Well, if he did, he was in for a surprise.. because there was Pitt…. like nothing happened. Pretty much looked like he died peacefully in his sleep. What the hell is this guy made of? I know they want to break away from realism at some points of the movie.. (like the dope ass tank battle where the hidden and VERY MUCH stationary tanks kept missing the american tanks which were driving in a straight line… or the one on one battle where the german tank had 3 opportunities to blow up the protagonist tank at point blank range but somehow didnt).. buuuut.. you know.. two grenades blew up in Brad Pitt and Shia’s dead mustache’s face. And Michael Pena.. he was blown up prior.. but the entire tank was still in perfect condition. This is only weird because the beginning of the movie showed Ellison cleaning up a bloodied tank which had half a face inside of it.
Anyways. There were a couple cool scenes. Like I said, the tank battle was entertaining. The flying / ricocheting tank rounds were pretty neat. And… the credit scene was cool. I really liked the poster outside, too.
I just expected more from this movie given all the marketing which went into the flick. It was rather flat. A certain level of effort was missing from the script department. All in all, if it were an HBO movie/series , I’d find it pretty damn dope. This, though? Could’ve spent my money on a couple boxes of cereal and waited until Redbox.
Not a bad way to spend a boring Sunday, though.
The tagline is “War Never Ends Quietly” .. but this film sure as hell did.
So, there you have it, RoQ Riffs.. “Fury”, which is out now. Go buy 2 boxes of cereal.. there is more life in one bowl of fried and nutritionally void crunch berries than a good 70% of the script. Maybe if there were more action scenes, I’d give it a pass.. like Equalizer.. which is next on my “list”.
Alright RoQ Riffs.. You know what to do!! I’m out the gate. Oh for those who’re asking what this has to do with Underground / Indie HipHop .. it doesn’t. There.
Until next time and live from Phoenix.. “The Culture Is Back!!”