James Halcomb reviews ‘Fury’ and talks about his fears for men in war.
“Fury, starring Brad Pitt, is not a date movie. Nor is it a rip-roaring, fun-filled WWII action flick. It is serious, dark and it is bloody, just like war really is supposed to be. It is a great movie.
I said “supposed to be” because I have never been in war, in fact, I have never even been in a full-blown fight before. So for me to comment on whether this film is a real reflection on the brutality or reality of war, would be condescending. I can comment on the brutality and the ugliness that is depicted in the film and I give fair warning that this film does not hold back.
War as depicted in “Fury” is an ugly business where are Brad Pitt’s character Don “Wardaddy” Collier puts it, “ideals are peaceful, history is violent”, and if this film is anything, it is violent. Collier is the leader of a tank squad pushing their way through Germany, making their way to Berlin and ending the war. Logan Lerman is our POV character, as PVT. Norman Ellison, who picks up the ironic nickname of “Machine”; his naiveté makes the moments of human violence all the more surprising and real.
The rest of the cast is effective in their roles with, gunner; Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), loader; Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peóa), driver; and rounding out the crew and with a career-reigniting performance Shia LaBeouf as Boyd “Bible” Swan as the gunner. LaBeouf has often been derided for his celebrity antics, but his performance, as a man struggling to balance his Christianity in the face of such death and soul-crushing destruction, is a stellar performance.
Writer/Director, David Ayer, who is best known for crafting the Denzel Washington vehicle “Training Day” has given us a claustrophobic (many moments of the film take place within the tank and the tank looks and feels a lot smaller than I ever thought) and frighteningly honest piece of film-making. The effect work is solidly grounded and everything in the film just feels muddy, bloody and dirty.
Much has been made of the ending of the film (no spoilers), I will say that it does feel a bit unrealistic and a bit Hollywood, but I found it a bit of breather and not that much of a credibility stretch.
“Fury”affected me in a very serious way as a movie fan and more importantly as a man and father. When we think of the “good”war we often tend to hold on to the “good” and forget about the war. In war, innocence is lost, bonds are formed and broken, and in war, heroes often to do unheroic things. I pray that my son never has to experience any of these emotions.
The movie is still playing in theaters and is well worth experiencing in the theater.