Fury is the poor man’s Saving Private Ryan.
In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), leading a Sherman tank and a five-man crew, undertakes a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned and saddled with an inexperienced soldier (Logan Lerman) in their midst, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds as they move to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Fury is what an honest military training video stretched to a full length film would look like if the makers had 10 million times the money to make it.
The war torn world is just as what you would expect – dirty, grimy, and bleak – with an unflinching portrayal of the bloody violence that comes with it.
The cast is mostly inside the tank, but well-composed shots of different angles provide tense action scenes. They do their best to elevate paper thin characters into relatable human beings.
Shia LeBeouf is actually a capable actor when you manage to separate his douchy self from his character. Jon Bernthal makes his character crass and despicable yet understandable given the situation he’s in. Logan Lerman is sympathetic. Michael Pena is adequate enough with limited screen time.
Unfortunately, Brad Pitt’s charisma isn’t enough to liven up this movie.
Fury is more preoccupied in showing us the horrors of war rather than fleshing out its characters which are standard issue stereotypes.
The naive noob; the bible thumping soldier; the crass knucklehead; the stolid driver and the stoic commander in chief.
Much like the Sherman tank that the 5 man crew have called home, the story drags on from one battle scene to the next until it stops at a ridiculous gung ho climax that you would only find in Hollywood films. And in typical Hollywood fashion you’ll see that nepotism is alive and well with Clint Eastwood’s son in the background given a couple of shots.
Towards the end, Fury tells us nothing new and provides nothing memorable. It does try to make a statement about how war turn men into monsters, but fails to follow through with an engaging narrative and characters worth investing in.
At best, Fury is a compelling film about camaraderie in combat (that finally made Brad Pitt cut his hair). At its worst, it’s a poor man’s Saving Private Ryan trying to be an Oscar bait film.
My Rating: 6/10