So I watched Fury…
Okay, basic plot: Brad Pitt is back to killing Nazis but this time he isn’t doing it with a ridiculous southern accent, he’s doing it with a MOTHERFUCKING tank. Okay there is actually more to the story: this movie revolves around the combat experiences of five men, led by Pitt’s character Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, who operate a tank named Fury.
There were so many things that I loved about this movie that picking what to describe first is a bit difficult but I think the thing I loved most was the script. It’s so genuine and focused. Most movies that depict war tend to focus on the battles that changed the landscape of the war or ended the war but Fury does something great and just shows you random pieces of it and makes its focus the actual soldiers and not the war itself. The characters are wonderfully written and layered with texture and emotion; this helps you connect with them, care for them and fear for their lives.
I really have to tip my hat to writer and director David Ayer for the quality not only in his script but also in his depiction of what war does to men. This isn’t an overly-stylised movie glorifying war, it’s a gritty piece full of emotion and, at times, true savagery. The dialogue is also really smart and concise. Nothing a character says ever feels unnecessary or wasted, it’s there to move the story forward. There’s also some great lines in this movie, my favourite probably been when Collier explains that “Ideals are peaceful, history is violent.”
But a great script would be nothing without great acting to back it up and the cast in this movie is brilliant.
Obviously we all know what a good actor Brad Pitt is but the supporting actors around him also do an amazing job. Shia LaBeouf, in particular, was a delight as the crew’s God-fearing, religious gunner. But I think the person who really steals the show is Logan Lerman who plays Private Norman Ellison, an inexperienced and naive soldier who’s assigned to replace a dead crewman of the Fury even though he’s never been in combat or even seen the inside of a tank. I think Lerman’s acting and his character were the most vital part of this story. The rest of the crew is battle-hardened and even though they are good men, war has turned them into monsters. Lerman’s character because of his inexperience and lack of willingness to kill, acts as a buffer for the audience; he adds a…’softness’ (for lack of a better word) to the story and represents the difficulties that an ordinary person would face if suddenly thrown into the ravages of war.
Beyond the emotional and philosophical themes that Fury explores, it’s also just a great action movie. Now the director does something interesting with the way he shows gunfire. You know how normally when a bullet is fired from a gun, there’s a yellow or white flash of light. In Fury, the director colours the flight of the bullets green for the Nazis and red for the Allies, so you kinda feel like you’re watching Star Wars. It took me a while to get used to this because it felt like they were shooting lasers and my brain kept half expecting someone to pull out a lightsaber. But it’s not a major issue.
The battle scenes between tanks in this movie are absolutely amazing. They felt so real; shots are going off, orders are being shouted, people are being blown to pieces – it’s amazing! Also the technique and strategy needed to use a tank as an effective weapon is mindblowing and I loved the way the film showcased this. I was genuinely afraid during every fight scene and was almost certain the crew wasn’t going to survive and that’s the hallmark of a good action movie. The director and the actors made me care about the characters and that’s what makes good movies.
Overall this is a great movie. It shows World War II in a light we haven’t often seen. It manages to not be political and boring and keeps the focus on the characters and the fighting – which I loved. One thing I also liked was that it showed that Germans also suffered the full brunt and horror of the Nazi rule. Great movie, definitely worth a trip to the cinema. 8/10