A past is a difficult think to escape. For one man, the escape will be violent, bloody and destructive. Having just served a twenty-five-year prison term for murder, Foley (Samuel L. Jackson) is drawn into a dangerous new heist, with an ambitious plan to steal $8 million from feared underworld kingpin Xavier (Tom Wilkinson). With the son of the man he killed out for revenge, he must use all the skills he learnt on the street to stay one step ahead of the game. In a world where nothing is as it seems, survival depends on betrayal... and trust is a luxury you cannot afford.
After twenty five years in prison for killing his partner during a con gone wrong, ageing grafter Foley (Samuel L. Jackson) is determined to spend his remaining days on the straight and narrow. Things are never that simple however and Foley quickly finds himself hounded by Ethan (Luke Kirby), the son of his dead partner, who badgers and eventually blackmails him into taking part in a simple “Samaritan” con, in which Foley is supposed to act as a friend to the mark in order to swindle them out of a whopping $8 million.
As a fan of the more traditional film noirs from the 1940’s seeing any director attempting to bring the genre into the 21st Century filled me with a looming sense of foreboding; it takes a strong hand and even stronger acting to truly depict noir stories with the right level of darkness and tension, and Fury misses the mark in many ways.
There are moments in the story that are a little too serious, whilst there are others that contrast painfully as being over-the-top and cheesy; but every film has its flaws does it not? In every other aspect Fury is a well founded and surprisingly deep film that explores many of the traditional tropes of the noir genre with the loyal and understated manner of a connoisseur.
What is most overwhelming about this film is Jackson’s performance, here he reminds us of what he is truly capable of, gone are all the memories of the tawdry action movies that he has appeared in in recent years. The character presented to us now is a patient and deep one, whose performance compliments the lonely and somewhat lost life of the character he portrays. We are treated, on several occasions, to the back of the throat growling of emotion that Jackson used to sweep us away in earlier movies like Pulp Fiction; whilst he beautifully expressive face adds a second level of feeling to his character.
Although this is far from a great movie, the beautifully staged city lights at dark, the brooding central character and surprisingly gentle romance plot line all make this a movie worth watching.