Hail Hydra… sorry, Hail America all

13 February 2015

With all due respect, Americans will blow themselves until they go blue in the face and lose feeling in their mouth and still not feel satisfied.

I could not help but feel this way as I watched David Ayer’s war movie Fury, which had a star-studded cast of Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena and Jon Berthnal.

The film, yet again, seeks to mask stupidity with bravery, glamourize war and glorify Americans.

Ayer really cashed in on all the stereotypes. He has the fearless American hero who is only too happy to die for God and country, and the Mexican with gold chains around his neck who sounds a tad like Speedy Gonzalez.

He also has the unrelenting Christian and the unscrupulous redneck (slightly cowardly about dying), and of course the loveable rookie whom the hero takes under his wing.

I can see the reasoning in a patriot trying to paint the picture of his country and its people in the best light possible, but it should never be at the expense of vilifying another nation.

Do not get me wrong, I have no love for the Nazi. How could I? I was born in a country that suffered at the hands of colonialism.

However, there is a recurring theme in most American films in which they always emerge as heroes and everyone else as the villains.

It’s always the heroic captain facing off against a group of men of Arab descent with turbans on their heads, fighting a power-hungry warlord in South America, or flies that have made the face of starving Somali children their playground.

Having said all that, Fury is one of the best war movies released in recent times. It had just the right amount of camaraderie and the rawness that comes with war to send chills down your back.

As I watched an infantry battle tank flatten the corpse of a Nazi soldier, I was taken back to an image in one of the daily newspapers, which had the body of a PLAN fighter strapped to a tank as it drove through a village during the war of our independence.

The savagery was nauseating, but there is nothing beautiful or poetic about war so one has to expect that.

Bravo Shia LaBeouf! This movie was his comeback after long battles with substance abuse and getting into trouble with the law.

Every time he came on and they were in a sticky situation, I hoped the tank would turn into Optimus Prime and save the day.

Not taking anything away from the ever-gorgeous Brad Pitt and those chiselled six packs, but Logan Lerman stole the show.

Like any boy barely out of puberty thrust into the centre of war, he had to fight both internal and external demons on whether to kill his enemy combatants.

Shaking and crying like a baby and needing the nourishment of his mother’s breasts, he helps bring a different view on war.

Once the bodies have dropped, the gunfire seized and the smoke cleared, the surviving soldiers will have to live with that horror until death. Lerman sends that message across so effortlessly he deserves an Oscar.

When a Nazis officer sees Lerman lying in the mud, and begging him not to alert the others, it almost restored my faith in the ability of Americans to tell a story with no hints of narcissism.

He does so and moves on, but only when the cavalry swept in to save the day it becomes evident that they spared Lerman because there always has to be a survivor to tell the story of their heroism. – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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