The last time Brad Pitt went a–Nazi huntin’, that worked out pretty well for everyone. So why not do it again? Well, because the first time, it was Tarantino taking a mandoline to your precious “facts”; this time, with Fury, a dirt-soaked WWII tank movie, it’s David Ayer building himself, from the looks of the trailer, just a whole goddamn Tower of Babel of clichés. Ayer has a credit on The Fast and the Furious and wrote Training Day, for which, yes, he gets to go straight to the best part of heaven, but he’s spent the years since mostly knocking about with exactly the kind of half-baked shoot-’em-ups (S.W.A.T., Street Kings) that made Training Day such a revelation in the first place. Then, in 2012, Ayer wrote and directed End of Watch, which again returned to the cops and robbers of Los Angeles and rode a surprisingly toughed-up Jake Gyllenhaal performance to become a small critical and commercial surprise success. And so now, apparently, Ayer gets to go real big.
When his script sold, for a cool $1 million, Ayer promised a “fresh execution to the genre” and that “what these men went through is worthy of a complex, honest portrayal,” as if there’s never been one before. Kind of strange slagging off a genre, the war film, that’s, you know, given us some of the best movies of all time? The trailer depicts nothing to suggest all that richness — instead, in quick succession, we flit back and forth between “newbie soldier cliché” to “rough-hewn camraderie” and, sure, yeah, why not, let’s throw in a dude actually pointing a map and saying “All we got is you.” Everything looks amazing and properly epic, though — including, and most importantly, Brad Pitt’s hair — and so maybe they just decided not to give anything of substance away in the trailer. Also barely present here? Our dude Shia LaBeouf, who allegedly ripped out his own tooth on set, then stopped showering (because ACTING), angering his costars to the point where “he found himself staying in a small bed-and-breakfast hotel away from the rest of the cast.” (B&B ostracism, the realest of all ostracisms.) Could Shia have self-dental’d himself just to end up on the cutting-room floor?! Truly, war is cruel.