It’s sometime during World War 2 and a tank battalion loses everyone but one tank. In the mists of the fight one of the crew members gets killed. So they roll into the nearest US base and are immediately assigned a new gunner. Unfortunately, he’s a typist and doesn’t know a thing about tanks. They haze the rookie by making him clean out their gut and blood covered tank hoping it would toughen him up to what he’s about to face.
I liked this movie, but it was very intensely gory. This is basically Saving Private Ryan if the beaches of Normandy lasted for 2 hours and 30 minutes. Some areas don’t involve the in your face gore, but it shows it very subtly. Which is neat since most movies now-a-days are either shaking the camera in order to give it a ‘realistic’ feel or showing blood and guts every 6 seconds and so in your face for so long it becomes obnoxious. This shows a image and the gore is hidden in the image. It’s weird, but it slowly builds up a very dreary and morose atmosphere. Like there’s one scene where it’s showing a artistic shot of a tank rolling through mud. If you look long enough you can see the uniform of a soldier. Then as it slowly rolls over the uniform it can clearly be seen that the soldier is still in it, but others have run over him about a million times already. It’s gross and brutal, but it shows the unforgiving nature of war rather then spend half the movie about the soldiers wanting to go home, like many others do.
The thing I liked about this film the most was the different characters. They didn’t rely off of stereotypes or tropes of most war movies. In turn it gave many of them a more genuine feel. Like Jon Bernthal (Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis) was a hardcore redneck who knew he wasn’t ever going to be rich and wasn’t worth for much other then labor or, as he put it a few times, killing. This isn’t seen much in movies, or at least this kind of character isn’t given that much screen time. Many war movies they are the first to go insane and become just another ‘bad guy’ and get killed. Shia LaBeouf (Boyd “Bible” Swan) was a crazed Bible thumper who is suffering from various parts of PTSD while still trying to do his job. This is another one you don’t see too often merely on the fact that strongly religious people are either mocked, chastised by newly found atheist allies, or flat out made to look like their completely insane. While it was obvious he had problems, the character didn’t wane from his beliefs and still respected his fellow allies. Even if they gave him a weird looks while he recited Bible verses they respected him enough to keep their mouth shut. Brad Pitt (Don “Wardaddy” Collier) was a cool to the core Sergeant who didn’t give any fancy “we’re going to win” speeches. This, from my experience, are what seasoned veterans are like. They might not be as cold, but they weren’t like Patton, who was a little flashy. Logan Lerman was the everyman. Instead of having long speech about how killing was wrong and how he had to do it for whatever reason his change was gradual and without dramatizations. Which was nice to see. Due to all this it built a foundation for a more believable look into soldiers lives during wartime. Michael Pena was basically the guy with really bad PTSD and sever depression. Now in a lot of movies he’d go insane or be given a medical discharge from the movie, then never seen from again. This was refreshing because it showed they could be worked with while doing their job.
While it included a slew of familiar faces, and A Lister Brad Pitt, I’d say everyone did exceptionally well. Brad Pitt did a great job playing a hard nosed war machine who pretty much knew what he was doing and how to corral a bunch of rough necks. Shia LaBeouf did exceptionally well as the stressed out religious Bible thumper and seemed extra weird for this performance. Jon Bernthal needs to stop impressing me or I might start rallying behind the guy to get him a Oscar nod. He’s demonstrated a various amount of range from the movies I’ve seen him in, especially since he was a nervous wreck in the last film I saw him in: Snitch. While, yes, he is usually cast as a bad guy in this movie he’s the redneck who’s crass to everyone and was rather convincing. He was great as one of the good guys who knows what good is but does it in his own way. Logan Lerman has always been a subtle leading man while picking roles who were more conservative then the characters they interacted with. So this married up to his other roles, but it was a stronger performance due to the subject matter. Michael Pena was good as the standard depress and over worked soldier, but many will have seen this performance before. However when he does get lines he nails them out of the park and makes the character different enough to warrant the audiences attention. Other then that everyone’s elses role was small, but not negligible. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to compliment or constructively criticize others, but the movies doesn’t much leave the tank they are in.
Fury is above average when it comes to WW2 movies. This is a very worn genera, but this breaths new life into these kinds of movies just by simply telling a different kind of story. It’s different approach in character development, its presentation of the tragedies involved, and even the way it shows other perspectives of war without making the people involved look psychotic is welcoming. All of the acting involved was top notch. The visuals were stunning, grotesque, and a little different then most. All in all this is a great WW2 film and it would be a good idea to add it to your collection once it comes out.