“April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy commands a Sherman tank and his five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Out-numbered, out-gunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.”
Brad Pitt never ceases to amaze. His vast selection in movies to get behind and support, especially in the past few years, has been remarkable. The box office blunder “World War Z” (2013), the extremely beautiful but unsuccessful “Tree of Life” (2011), and now “Fury”. With his vocal support of the film, as well as the marketing push on Veteran’s Day, this film has a stronger hold on its audience. An emotional ride through the countryside of Germany, the film is set in 1945 and follows a small team of men as they struggle to stay alive in Fury, their tank.
Aside from all of the actual wartime efforts and attempts to be accurate within the film, the real story is the bonding of the men within the tank. Shia LeBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, and Brad Pitt spend most of the film bullshitting back and forth, but when the bullets start whizzing, they snap into action. Of course, with some dramatic flare, tears fly and emotions run high, but this film is realistic for those who have never seen war.
Most films have a progression of beginning, middle, and end, with a journey or something along the lines to tie everything together. However, this film has no set journey. No real progression to anywhere in specific. Of course, they are travelling somewhere in country, with the hopes that the war will end soon, but there is no real progression. So, all the guys can do is drive and wait to be attacked. The progression of the film is more along the lines of battle, sit around/ drive around, battle, sit around/ drive around, battle. Without spoiling too much, the inevitable happens, bodies fly, and Fury is attacked. This war-structure is quite common, and echoes the reality within the various time periods. While the story of Fury itself is not necessarily based on a real story, elements are taken from “sea stories”.
The film is a bit long for what it is, which isn’t surprising. Clocking in at two hours and twenty minutes, the film has a definitive ending, but one that seems to happen a bit too soon. With the bland moments throughout the film taking what seemed to be forever, the end seems rushed and not fully worked out.
A major issue with most war films is the battles themselves. It can be hard for an audience member to follow along exactly with who is firing what at what point or who gets shot with what. The visual effects in “Fury” are easy to view, with the elements of smoke and other items of impairment being seldom used until the last sequence, which darkens with the plot line. A random trivia note, all of the tanks and weapons used in the film were borrowed from various military museums in order to preserve accuracy throughout. This definitely paid off. Sitting in a theater with military aficionados and speaking with some afterwards, it seemed like impressing them was a goal that the production companies succeeded at.
Ultimately, “Fury” is another war film that will go down fondly in the eyes of the viewers, but will probably have a more successful on demand run than it did in theaters. Would I watch it again? Definitely, when I could sit down and have an intimate experience again. This film deserves it.
“Fury” came out in theaters in October, and will continue in to the holiday season.