It seems like there is a trend growing on the back of a certain type of retro film. In the eighties, there was a swath of straight to DVD films that were cheaply made and focused on the seedier side of the human condition. Gangsters, violent cops and exploitation were all the order of the day. Now things have come round to a point where there is an audience for this, as showed with the reception to the terrific short Kung Fury. Trying to capitalise on this is the recent movie from director Kevin A. McCarthy Fury: The Tales of Ronan Pierce.
Pierce is a cop who has stared into the abyss and then jump right into it. His daughter was murdered by a psychopath called Luna Loder. He now has Piece’s wife and is taunting him with videos of him torturing her. This has understandably pushed him over the edge. He embarks on a mission to find all those responsible. Starting with the people traffickers at the dock he leaves a trail of bodies in his wake.
The film is not intended to be taken seriously. It is over the top from the very first frame and if anything it gets even more intense as it goes along. To critique the acting and the would be a complete waste of time. They are intended to be as outrageous as possible and for this reason a number of people have written the film off. The character of Ronan (Michael McCarthy) is the most out there of all. He is gone in terms of self-restraint. He appears bug-eyed, veins straining on his neck and growling every sentence in the style of a very pissed off Batman.
The look of the movie owes a huge debt to the eighties. It is over saturated and sometimes slightly out of focus like a video that has been played too many times. It makes the film look unreal and a bit like a nightmare. There are a lot of CG elements which adds to the overall mood of the movie and blends in nicely with the colour choices.
According to the publicity for the movie it was inspired by graphic novels and that certainly comes across in both the visual styling and the way the dialogue is handled. I would say there is a component of the hard-boiled noir novels in there as well which would explain some of the more obvious issues with character decisions. To explain, there are a number of times where a character’s motivation and actions are ill-judged. They are done for a spectacle point of view and don’t ring true to what we have seen of the character before. Would a cold bloodied killer throw away a gun so he could have a fist fight? He would here.
The most obvious reference hanging over this is Frank Miller’s Sin City graphic novels and films. The ensemble cast of scumbags, the dark and brooding atmosphere and the location, Harbor City in this case, are clearly ‘inspired’ by it. If anything Fury tries to go further with the added elements of gore, mutilation and exploitation. There is not any subtlety here and to be honest it probably wouldn’t work given the rest of the material on screen.
Overall, a niche movie that will not appeal to all. Best viewed as a not entirely serious film.