Movie Review: “Fury” depicts gripping, realistic war experience


Vincent Schultz, Managing Editor

At first glance, it’s hard not to compare “Fury” to other films in the WWII-genre, which have frequented cinemas for decades.

There have been plenty of stories following a group of men on a harrowing, against-all-odds mission. However, none have told a WWII drama quite like this.

Released Oct. 17, “Fury” is directed and written by David Ayer and stars Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal. The film follows a five-man Sherman tank team sent on a critical mission behind enemy lines.

Under the command of the hard-edged, tank commander Wardaddy (Pitt), rookie soldier Norman Ellison (Lerman) is thrust into battle alongside comrades Boyd (LaBeouf), Gordo (Pena), and Grady (Bernthal).

With limited resources and inferior tanks compared to German artillery, the men are forced to battle throughout Nazi Germany mere months before the conclusion of the war.

Right from the opening scene, “Fury” does a great job of setting itself apart from war films in the past. The opening shots are long and rich with an eerie sense of beauty.

Each shot is slow and calculated, intentionally so, because it is only moments before it is cut down and audiences are introduced to the brutality of war.

From there, we are introduced to our five protagonists, along with the setting where most of the film takes place, inside the tank deemed “Fury.” Both of which are the strongest pieces of the film.

Prior to “Fury,” life inside of a tank was generally unknown, at least to me. Though it has certainly been depicted in films before, there has never been such an intimate look at life inside of these lethal machines.

The Sherman tank is a claustrophobic weapon that its occupants have learned to call home. However, despite the limited space to work with, the brilliant cinematography somehow manages to engage audiences and immerse them in the tank along with the rest of the crew.

“Fury” has strong performances all around. Each character is given their moments to shine and each time they deliver. Moreover, writer-director David Ayer creates great contrast between characters.

LaBeouf as Boyd “Bible” Swan is sincere and kind and plays perfectly against Jon Bernthal’s animalistic Grady. In the same breath, there is a strong relationship between Brad Pitt as Wardaddy and Lerman’s rookie soldier Norman Ellison. Throughout the film there is this father-son bond between the two characters.

Within the 134-minute run-time, you see Ellison develop from a child to a man under the stern direction of his commander. These bonds resonate throughout the entire film and add more depth to this brutal war-drama.

“Fury” is no doubt relentlessly violent. The battle scenes are frequent and intense, but necessary. As Wardaddy states, “It will end,soon. But before it does, a lot more people have to die.”

I’m giving “Fury” 5/5 kernels.