Passing down the street, I see all sorts of people, young and old. They present themselves as how they want the rest of the world wants to see them. For guys like me that enjoy walking, I often pass by folks with caps that say they were veterans of some sort. They don’t seem to be asking for a lot of attention, but they want people to know that they worked hard to protect us from villains. They took the risk that could have gotten them killed, but had managed to put out enough to take themselves home. They may have been able to return to a normal society, but some of them may not come back with solid minds.
I have only seen people killed in the movies and television, and I don’t have the stomach to look up death footage, but from what I hear, the real deal is nothing like the Stallone that can gun down a bunch of bad guys and return home with a smile. The armed folk that have seen how severe and bloody a war can become only see the world for what it can be; a savage place where only the strongest survive. The sick minds that fill the ranks in Fury will make you question just how damaged a veterans mind could be.
Our crew is in the last months of World War II as Army sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier (played by Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank called “Fury”, working to make the final push into Nazi Germany. It’s crew consists of Boyd “Bible” Swan (played by Shia LeBeouf), Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (played by Jon Bernthal) and Trini “Gordo” Garcia (played by Michael Peña). During the opening segment where an assistant driver is lost in an attack, an enlisted typist, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is unfortunately transferred to fill the vacant spot.
What Ellison finds is a crew that would rather have their old driver back then someone who has never even killed a Nazi. During a gut-wrenching scene, the poor boy gets his bitter taste of blood when Wardaddy forces the trigger of his gun upon a German who may have been innocent. Ironically, Wardaddy is the only one who seems to be keen on making Ellison a full-fledged tank driver, by giving him the privilege of joining him for food in a captured town. The stakes are put to test when the tank becomes immobilized after driving on a land mind and has be ready to aim and fire upon hundreds of incoming Nazis.
Fury places itself in the ideology of something like The Dirty Dozen where a group of solders are pitted against absurdly huge forces. But it comes off more like The Expendables where the action becomes so over the top that it nearly becomes senseless. I can tell that the movie was trying to mix in the bloody (and I mean really bloody!) along with the message that war can damage to the human mind and it nearly works.
The effect of war on people in film has been done several times before, so what Fury does have to offer are some good performances. Brad Pitt plays the total opposite of his Inglorious Bastards character, becoming someone who has become so scared by the war that he is more machine then human. Logan Lerman is really evolving into the serious adult actor that he wants to be, as he displays the only traces of humanity left in an Evil Germany.
The best part of the movie is the final act of the stuck tank and it’s last stand, but you need to get through the roughest trenches of gore and slow pacing that could turn away some folk. Fury is an interesting case of being too gory for an award audience and possibly to highbrow for a mainstream crowd. I’m sure there’s a middle ground that going to enjoy this more then I did.
I’ll give this three-damaged tanks out of five. It’s best to know that Fury is not fun action movie, but an action movie at least. If that’s enough to persuade you, this is probably for you. Maybe the next round of World War II ammo can fuel me better.