As World War II closes in on its final stages, only one tank is left standing. Fury, directed by David Ayer and based on a true story about this tank, features a host of big name actors and tells a gruesome, vivid story about World War II.
Throughout World War II, the unit for an average American tank lasted 6 months in the war. But not Fury, a tank that lasted over three years.
Under the command of Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), the rest of the tank unit consists of Bible (Shia LaBeouf), Gordo (Michael Pena) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal.) This group of tight knit friends is forced to add an inexperienced and young recruit named Norman (Logan Lerman) to their unit.
As the scenes start getting more gruesome with dead bodies and killing, Norman can not handle his new job in a tank. Norman’s unwillingness to kill enemy soldiers begins to threaten the lives of a tank unit that has survived the war for three years. After an incident when Norman refused to shoot a young German soldier, the unit grows upset with the young recruit. After this incident, Wardaddy makes Norman face the reality of death by forcing Norman to shoot a captured Nazi.
This moment was gruesome and portrayed the true problems of the war, and it completely changed Norman’s attitude. He soon became a committed member of the tank unit and helped them capture several German cities with his sharp shooting and driving. By the end of the film, Norman’s newly developed resilience and commitment to the war is challenged when a group of 300 German Nazi’s approach the tank unit in one of the final battles of the war.
The performances from the actors varied considerably throughout the film. Wardaddy, Gordo, and Norman all had great performances but two characters stood out for both good and bad reasons.
Shia LaBeouf, known for his performance as Sam Witwicky in Transformers, takes on a very different role here. He is the religious man of the unit and constantly refers to bible passages to try and calm the unit down or get them through a tough time. He is given the nickname “Bible” but still maintains a killer instinct and is a great second in command to Wardaddy. In one scene, he’ll refer to bible passages, and in the next, he‘ll become a deadly warrior in the heart of the war. LaBeouf was able to transition his character from scene to scene which made his role one to remember. His strong speeches about the war and about life in general are some of the most moving moments in the movie.
LaBeouf’s tank unit partner, Jon Bernthal did not have as great a performance as expected. Fresh off his role playing Shane from The Walking Dead, Bernthal’s character exhibited many of the same qualities of Shane from the popular TV series. The only difference was, he was just louder and more obnoxious. Grady Travis, Bernthal’s character, was the drunk of the group and also the least inspiring. Everytime he spoke, it was either about killing Nazis, wanting alcohol or being with a girl. Bernthal himself played his character well, but it was an underdeveloped character nonetheless.
Aside from some faults in the writing and directing of certain characters, Fury was incredibly gruesome. Within the first few minutes of the film, one sees the remains of a killed soldier in a tank with blood and body parts sprawled everywhere. Several characters died throughout the film and their bodies were completely destroyed with few remains to be seen. Although this is a large part of war, it was perhaps excessive at points.
Overall, Fury highlighted the major problems of World War II and honored the men of a great and strong tank unit. At points, Fury was over-the-top gruesome and had some underdeveloped characters. Despite this, the battle scenes were great and the acting was superb. Four out of five stars and a must see.