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Fury: A movie review



Article Written by:
Andrew Muench

I love World War II movies. I love games about it. I love the technology and the history surrounding it so whenever a movie comes along that showcases it I'm generally immediately interested. Brad Pitt's been in war movies before, most recently as Aldo Raine in the satirical and magnificent Inglorious Basterds, but this time he takes command of the screen as Don "Wardaddy" Collier, commander of a M4A3E8 "Easy Eight" Sherman tank. "Fury" is a fantastic movie that is at times incredbily brutal in it's detail as it is incredibly personal to the tank's crew members and their interactions as they try to mesh together during the final month of the European Theater.

Joining Pitt in the tank are Shia Labeouf as Boyd "Bible" Swan, Jon Bernthal as Grady "Coon-Ass" Travis, and Michael Peña as Trini "Gordo" Garcia. This crew has been together for a long time until they lose their fifth man and have a replacement, Logan Lerman as Norman Ellison, thrust upon them which becomes the focus of the movie more-so than the war itself. Brad Pitt really shines in the lead role, he's always a great actor and certainly gives a compelling performance as he commits reproachable, horrendous acts to keep his tank crew alive and together, while also showing how much his actions really haunt him. In fact, it's his scenes with Lerman's character Ellison that are probably the best in the entire movie even though the rest of the supporting cast do a great job and keep it all working together. 

That's impressive given my great dislike of Shia Labeouf as an actor, whose character could have very quickly been an overbearing bible thumping stereotype but instead is a rather grounded and believable character, religious quotes and all. Jon Bernthal, who I first saw in the Walking Dead which I've only really begun watching (and it's pretty awesome itself, go check it out!) is the crude and oftentimes foul mouthed gun loader. Grady doesn't hold anything back, he tells it like it is and be damned what you think about it. And it's excellent because you initially really dislike how he acts until you start seeing that it's part of what the film is trying to express. These are a bunch of people who'd not give each other the time of day in normal circumstances but through the crucible of war have become more than just a random bunch of individuals, they're like brothers.

Michael Peña's Gordo is a bit more subdued, he's the tanks driver, and he gives a fine performance but it does highlight one of the issues of the movie, his (and others) character just really isn't that fleshed out beyond the scope of the movie, however this doesn't stop it or him from being enjoyable. Granted, while the movie does a good job of giving the screen to everyone in almost equal amounts, it's probably at its best when Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman are driving home the differences between their two respective characters and mindsets. Early on Lerman's character is a pretty straightforward guy, he's new to the Army and hasn't ever seen a tank, so he's pretty nervous and scared when he has a gun chucked at him by Pitt and told to kill. He's Fury's new bow gunner and completely wet behind the ears to the violence of war which doesn't win him any points with his new crew.

That all changes with a number of spectacular scenes both in and out of the tank. From action scenes thundering with machine gun bursts and exploding tank rounds so loud I could feel it reverberate in my chest, to quieter moments, however brief, that have amazing detail and impact on the emotional level. One tense tank battle actually has in it the only currently operating Tiger I tank in the world, something that hasn't been seen in any modern movie. Hearing it's shells whistle through the air before they impact on an Allied tank, exploding in a cacophony of thuds and clangs as it advances on Fury like the solid wall of near impenetrable steel and menace that it is, really drives home how much care was taken in every single minute detail of this movie.

About halfway through the movie we're treated to what is most likely the perfect summation of what the movie is about, or at least to me. At first I didn't know what to think other than it was going on for a VERY long time and it seemed almost as if it was shot without interruption. This scene must have lasted a good ten minutes or maybe more. It's hard to really judge because about halfway through it I stopped wondering what was happening, originally not liking it due to it's length, and then it took on the whole new light of exemplifying how each one of these men in Fury's crew is so different, each one sharing so many experiences together with each one being more violent and soul crushing then the one before it (including at the start of this very scene,) and they still pull together when it comes down to it. They're a family, disfunctional, but a family, willing to go through hell to stay alive and fight for another.

It took me till the end of the movie to realize how important I felt that scene was, because Fury itself has a long list of strong moments as well as great pacing. Fury might only live within its own little time capsule of the war but it does so brilliantly with so few small hiccups, (like some slightly one dimensional characters,) which are easily overlooked, making it one of the better World War II movies. One I'm definitely going to place on my shelf proudly next to the likes of Saving Private Ryan and Enemy at the Gates. I enjoyed Fury so much I'd have watched it again right then and there, it's tank pornography at its finest. 

Fury is definiately a movie worth your money and it's spectacular on the big screen. If you like war movies, Brad Pitt, and/or just need a good movie to see with some friends then its surely a great choice.

Writer's Bio
Andrew has been a table-top RPG, PC and martial arts nerd for over a decade and holds a verbal black belt in witty quips and one-liners while raid leading or PVPing in World of Warcraft.  His interest in writing is built upon an adoration for storytelling, “I love building worlds and seeing people enjoy what I create.” 

Andrew resides in Virginia Beach, Virginia, within the greatest nation of them all—‘Merica’.

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