Movie Review: “Fury” – The Tragedy of War

Written by Caitlin Cooper November 05, 2014

Fury

Films whose focus are wars tend to be made at an almost constant rate. Films particularly about World War II are a popular tale to tell. While all focus on the horrors of war, they tend to portray those on the winning side as achieving a sort of glory. “Fury”, however, is bluntly honest about how cold and harsh war is and that everyone had to do terrible things in order to win the war. It doesn’t celebrate the killing of people but rather shows it as a burden on those whose job it is, even if they are doing it to end atrocities; they have to do it if they want to survive. They leave their morals, for the most part, at the door.

“Fury” tells the story of the Allies making their final push for victory in April of 1945. An army sergeant named Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and its crew on a dangerous mission behind enemy lines. A rookie soldier named Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is sent to join their crew, despite his originally having a desk job. Together, they face the odds in their attempts to strike the center of Nazi Germany, even when things look pretty bleak for the crew.

“Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.”

“Fury” is a pretty bleak story, right from the start. The crew is surrounded by corpses and gun fire. Their only home is their tank. I won’t lie: a lot of the crew are jerks (that’s putting it mildly). I really didn’t like some of them. On the other hand, the men are all tormented by what they have experienced in the war, and it was nice to see that beyond their rough exteriors, they were vulnerable. I’m not sure, however, that the story brought much to the table or that “Fury” offered an original take on the historical events we’ve all learned about in school. One of the different aspects it did have, however, is that “Fury” didn’t glorify the war for either side and it certainly showed exactly what horrors occurred.

Fury

The characters in “Fury” are complex. Don purposely takes on the role as the hard-ass in the group because it’s the only way to make sure his crew survives each battle. But there are moments when he goes off by himself and his mask drops to show a man haunted by war and what being a soldier requires him to do. Norman is the youngest of the bunch. He was trained to be a typist at a desk, not to see any of the front. So he can’t reconcile killing people when he hasn’t been trained in combat and since it goes against his faith. Don and Norman have a tense relationship from the moment they meet. Don doesn’t want to lose another young soldier, and Norman doesn’t want to be there at all. Even Norman is changed by the war, and it’s sad.

“This ain’t pretty, you know. But it’s what we do.”

Without a doubt, the cast of “Fury” are all talented. Pitt played the hard-ass sergeant and the vulnerable, tormented man with equal effectiveness. Pitt and Lerman really carry the film. Lerman has been acting since he was a child, and his acting only seems to improve with each film. He easily portrays Norman as he goes from emotions like fear, sorrow, and happiness. Jon Bernthal (“The Walking Dead”) seems to excel at playing a pig. His is one of the characters who really angered me. It’s been awhile since I watched a new film with Shia LaBeouf in it, and it’s a more serious role than his role in the “Transformers” franchise. Alicia von Rittberg plays Norman’s love interest, Emma, with a vulnerability necessary for her attachment to Norman as well as her fear of the other soldiers.

Fury

Overall, “Fury” is a war film which digs deep into the affects of war on the soldiers fighting in it, and how they were often up against incredible odds. The story doesn’t bring that much to the table that hasn’t been done before in WWII films, but Don and Norman are two complex characters which provide an anchor for the film. The strong cast is certainly one of the things “Fury” has going for it.

My Rating: 7/10

Fury

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About Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin Cooper

Caitlin is an avid watcher of movies and television shows so she decided to use her passion to write about them. She has a B.A. in English Language and Literature with a Minor in Creative Writing.

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