Fury Review

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By: Justin Jasso (@jjasso007)

Each individual alive has different life experiences that shape who they end up becoming. Some experiences happen during childhood, others during adolescence, and some during adulthood. But few experiences can shape a person like those experienced by soldiers in a war. Bonds form between soldiers of the same company – the friendships, the willingness to put one’s life on the line to save the next man, and the fear of not dying, but of not being able to help your fellow soldiers when they need it the most. Such camaraderie and heroism is displayed perfectly in David Ayer’s latest film, Fury.

April, 1945. The allies are making their final push to end Hitler’s genocide and World War II. Among the participants is Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), the commander of the five-man Sherman tank, Fury. Wardaddy has made a name and reputation for himself as a man who can be counted on to be successful in the toughest of battles, as well as a man to get his soldiers in and out of a fight alive. After losing their right gunner, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a typist, is assigned to Wardaddy’s tank crew to fill the spot, joining a team that consists of cannon operator Boyd Swan (Shia LeBeouf), mechanic and cannon loader Grady Travic (Jon Bernthal), and left gunner Trini Garcia (Michael Peña). Tired, behind enemy lines, and outgunned, Wardaddy’s crew is continually asked to push forward, but how long can the crew hold up in the heart of Germany before their luck runs out?

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For those who have never been in a war (myself included), the reports we see on the news and the visuals presented therein are what we know. But once in a while, a director with a great vision and the right amount of research into the topic can paint a visceral and vibrant picture of what war during the time was like, pulling us onto the battlefield and demanding we have more respect for the freedoms we often take for granted. Steven Spielberg made this abundantly clear in Saving Private Ryan and David Ayers does it here with Fury. From the moment Norman first enters the Fury tank alone, we’re introduced to how very cramped a space it is inside. At the same time, you understand how such strong bonds are formed between the members of a tank crew. Each person has a vital job and their lives, along with the lives of their tank crew, come down to doing their job adequately, especially when in foreign, enemy territory. We learn about the brotherhood formed amongst members, about their loves, passions, and fears. How there are disagreements and fights, but, in the end, they become family. And as the war carries on, the loss and pain grows, the real nature of humanity rears its head, and we’re able to clearly see the good and bad of what humanity has to offer.

While the film is more of an ensemble cast, focusing primarily on the crew of the Fury, the majority of the story revolves around Wardaddy and Norman. Brad Pitt brings to the screen a confident, well-rounded tactician, able to strategize in the moment and deal with the various personalities within his crew. But he’s also a man on the breaking point as the war continues, knowing that his luck can’t last forever and casualties are a part of the war. How does he keep his men alive when the odds are so stacked against them, in terms of German resistance and of being put into insurmountable situations? Lerman, on the other hand, perfectly displays a “green” recruit, someone with zero battle experience. From his unwillingness to kill people, to the first signs of blood, up to the realization that his life is at stake every moment in this war, the man who refuses to kill comes to an understanding that this is a “kill or be killed” world, and if he wants to live, he may have to break some of his own morals. LeBeouf is great as Boyd, a man of the Bible who holds on to his faith throughout. Bernthal is great as a southern soldier, lacking manners and often displaying the worst of humanity when it comes to war. Peña seems to have the least to do but comes through as a tough love mentor for Lerman.

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Fury, like Saving Private Ryan, truly provides an unfiltered look at World War II. From the acts of valor, the determination of the soldiers, and the unspeakable deeds committed on both sides, this is a reminder that war brings out the best and the worst of humans. But it also reminds us that every day is not guaranteed, and to go forward and give our best day in and day out, to make the most of the life we are given, to care for those you love, and to make a difference in the world. Ayers ties together everything that makes us human into on compelling film, and allows us to walk out with a further appreciation of what soldiers have fought for and for what we have.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

 


    2 Comments

  1. mocanu andraOctober 17th, 2014 at 7:05 am

    This movie needs to be seen! It has so much potential! I always loved a good war movie!

  2. JustinOctober 17th, 2014 at 8:16 am

    It’s a phenomenal movie Mocanu, and should hear it’s name mentioned many times leading up to award season

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