David Ayer’s new movie “Fury” could be described with one word: brutal. The violence is constant and relentless, as it addresses the sheer intensity of war head-on. Viewers who can endure the onslaught, however, will be rewarded. “Fury” delivers a refreshing twist on the World War II genre by presenting difficult dilemmas.
Fury follows an American tank crew at the end of World War II. They fight their way through Germany in a series of difficult battles against a desperate and determined foe. The story centers on their new crewman, a machine gunner named Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), who must transform from a gentle soul into a hardened killer if he wants to survive.
The tank commander, Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) cuts Norman no slack, demanding that he perform brutal acts in attempt to harden him. The tank’s other crewmen, Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia (Michael Pina) and Grady Travis (Jon Bernthal) also treat him harshly, as they feel he puts everyone at risk.
Gradually, the men begin to bond and live as brothers in arms. Near the end of the movie, they band together against overwhelming odds, because none of them want to leave the others behind. These touching scenes of camaraderie serve to balance out the graphic war scenes, making them worth viewers’ while.
The more brutal moments pose dilemmas to the viewers. For example, one can understand why Wardaddy would want his machine gunner to be a hardened killer who never hesitates on the trigger; this keeps the men safe in battle. However, he tries to toughen Norman by forcing him to execute a defenseless prisoner. Viewers thus come face-to-face with the atrocity of war.
The movie challenges the one-sided idealism of many World War II movies. The easily-loved heroes of other films are replaced by more complex men with a capacity for ruthlessness. These characters are flawed, yet one cannot help but root for them as the story plays out.
Despite its complexity, Fury still delivers plenty of pulse-pounding action for adrenaline junkies. The battle scenes are breathtaking, with many close calls for the crew. One finds it hard not to duck when the Germans send streaking bullets and screaming shells towards the small tank.
Thus, viewers who can handle a hard R-rated movie will find that “Fury” is worth their while. The characters are sometimes disturbingly flawed, but this makes their redeeming acts all the more compelling. Anyone interested in a good war movie should give it a watch.