Tuesday, 25 March 2014

The Fury (1978)

Watching this film quickly put me in mind of Scanners, which appeared three years later and also revolves around people with psychic powers and secret efforts to weaponise them.

We begin the film with Peter (Kirk Douglas) and his son on vacation in the Middle East (do Middle Eastern beaches really allow such skimpy swimming costumes for women? Maybe Persia in the late 70s did, to be fair to the film). Peter's son has 'special powers', which an old special forces buddy wants to study. Moments after Peter assures his son that all will be well, there is a terrorist attack. Kirk Douglas, still sinewy but looking his 60+ years, takes on the gunmen and kills several, but appears to be killed himself. He survives, however, and learns his old buddy staged the attack to get him out of the picture.

A year later, Peter is searching for his son, who has apparently disappeared, and is trying to find another psychic to help him. His search brings him to a teenage girl named Gillian, but Evil Former Buddy also has his eye on her. The struggle between the two men will quickly turn deadly.

This is a Brian DePalma film, which means it is well shot, quite grim, and has some powerful signature moments. Unfortunately, it feels to me like someone should have told DePalma that the pace of the film needed to be tightened up. There are too many pauses in the momentum of the film as the narrative switches back and forth between Peter and Gillian, and it made the movie drag a little for me. At the end of it, I didn't regret seeing it, but I did think I would rather re-watch Scanners, if given the choice.

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