Whatever I thought “Fury” was going to be, that first trailer surprised me.
We've got an exclusive debut of the new banner for the movie today, and what it's selling, loud and clear, is the notion of this group of men who are stuck in this tank together. Brad Pitt, front and center. Michael Pena looked bruised and bloodied. Jon Bernthal, face like a fist, a live-action Popeye. Shia, haunted and huddled in that corner. And the new kid. Pretty much sums up what the movie looks to be.
We've turned a corner now in terms of how WWII is being captured on film. I think “Saving Private Ryan” was the demarcation line, the moment the shift began, and it's been interesting to watch how it's gone from being the simplest war to portray in black and white terms, the last “good” war, to now being more complex when we see it on film. It's no longer seen as a pure good thing, and I think that's a pretty remarkable evolution, all things considered.
David Ayer's been pushing himself more and more as a visual filmmaker with each new film, and just looking at the trailer for “Fury,” it feels like he's made another big jump forward here. I'm excited to see how he's handling tank combat and what it feels like to actually drive one of those things. Until you've actually climbed into one, it's hard to understand just how small a space it is and how crazy and claustrophobic it must feel to be trapped inside this tin can while someone's trying to shoot your or blow you up. I got a chance to ride in a real WWII-era tank last year thanks to Arnold Schwarzenegger, and it didn't require me climbing all the way into the tank to realize just how terrifying that must have been during war. It looks like Ayer is really working to try to capture that feeling, and that's an exciting angle to explore.
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There is a part of me that wishes that Brad Pitt was playing his character from “Inglorious Basterds” here because, frankly, I wish he was playing that character in every film he makes, but I like that Ayer is doing something this serious, but that also feels like it's from the grand tradition of “men on a mission” movies from WWII as well. If he can do something new while working with a fairly rigid formula, it could be a very exciting movie, and it's certainly the most intriguing trailer I think I've seen anyone cut for one of Ayer's movies so far.
“Fury” is in theaters Nov. 14.