run time: 134 mins
considered: Action, Drama, War
director: David Ayer
starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal, Jim Patrick, Brad William Henke, Kevin Vance, Xavier, Samuel, Jason Isaacs, Anamaria Marinca, Alicia von Rittberg, Scott Eastwood, Laurence Spellman, Daniel Betts
movie summary: History will tell us that Germany was winning the Second World War and was poised to take over all of Europe. Their run to glory was all but cleared until the United States entered the war and the tide changed for the better of the planet. Americans and the allies stormed the beaches and began to take out the bad guys leaving them to retreat back within their own borders of Germany. As the ships began to roll in from the North America, so the did the tanks, artillery, and thousands upon thousands of new soldiers. Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) has fought Germans all over the world, earning his rank and command along the way. He assumes control of the Sherman tank called “Fury” along with the following soldiers; Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf), Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), and Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Pena). Together these men have driven through a few thousand miles of mud, killed thousands of enemy soldiers, all while living inside the steel walls of Fury.
When the crew finally reaches an American out post, they find time to bury one of their own. The lost of one of their brother taken an emotional toll on them but as Wardaddy reminds them, this is war and there are no good things in war. The American command officers prepare a battle plan to take out a few strategic German towns which will cut off their supplies. Down a man, Wardaddy is handed fresh new recruit named Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman). Norman is right out of basic training and has never seen a tank before. There’s no time for a proper introduction because within minutes of getting assigned to Fury, Wardaddy rounds up the men to head into enemy territory to lead a group of five tanks to destroy whatever they can find.
While en route to a small town, the tanks are ambushed causing one to be blown up and all crew members to burn up inside. Norman is given a quick reality check of where he is in the war and his life. When Wardaddy realizes Norman had a chance to kill some of the Germain ambush soldiers, he gives him a quick lesson on how to kill someone. Norman refused to pull the trigger then and refuses during the lesson. After a brief break the tanks roll into town and are attacked by a group of Nazi soldiers who hide in buildings to ambush the Americans. When the tanks clean house, Wardaddy and Norman find a couple of girls and take up shelter in their house. Wardaddy breaks out food for the girls to cook while Norman falls in love with Emma (Alicia von Rittberg). Their quiet afternoon is interrupted when the rest of the crew join them, ruining dinner, and putting Wardaddy in a foul mood.
The crew pack up and reload their supplies to continue on their journey. As disaster strikes in the town before they leave, Norman is once again given an eye-opening life lesson which ignites a fire in his heart to kill as many Germans as possible. The tanks roll out-of-town and within a few hours they are ambushed by a German superior tank called The Tiger. The four tank American crew is blown up one by one leaving on Fury and its men as the last ones standing. The crew breathe a sigh of relief to survive another epic battle only to run into trouble a few miles down the road. Gordo, Boyd, and Trini all pitch in to help fix the tank while Wardaddy sends Norman to go be the look out. Norman discovers there are over 300 German soldiers marching their way and runs back to warn the men about the impending threat.
Wardaddy orders everyone to leave but no one follows his orders, they instead get Fury ready for one more battle. All four men have poured their blood, sweat, and tears into the tank and refuse to go down without a fight.
my thoughts: Fury was an EPIC movie. There’s no other words to describe this 2:14 long movie about a bunch of guys and their tank. This movie has everything anyone could ask for in a gripping story about over coming the odds, family, dedication, and survival. There may be a few moments here and there where you know exactly what is about to play out but this story is far from predictable. It was simply amazing to sit there and watch the guys tease each other to the ends of the earth, but when they were under fire they were as serious as a heart attack. These guys live and breathe with the tank and know their capabilities along with this multiple ton weapon. It takes a special kind of person to live inside a tank and proclaim “Best Job Ever” over and over as they roll through the deep mud.
Brad Pitt steals the show with his performance as Wardaddy. Fury is his home and will protect it at all costs. The men he stands besides are his best friends, his brothers, the men he will go to bat for every time. All four of them have worked together through the best of times and the worse of times. Brad knows exactly what each man thinks and is willing to push them to their limits to get the best out of them. He does his best to take Logan Lerman’s Norman under his wing and show him the ropes, but this is war and he’s not afraid to remind everyone that war is not pretty. When Norman doesn’t comply with the rules or accepts his current position in the war, Wardaddy changes his mentality and shows him a lot of tough love while embarrassing him in front of everyone. Like I pointed out a few sentences ago, Brad’s character is just that good of a leader that he knows exactly when and how to push people to get what he wants out of them.
Before I go on to talk about the story and other characters, the one thing I need to mention is Shia LaBeouf can actually act. My friend, who I went to see Fury with, said that he can act, when given the proper material. I was just impressed with his character, how real he was. He is the religious guy out of the group and is always willing to give someone their last rites while holding their hand as they bleed out on the battlefield. He is always fired up to kill people and as the gunner on the tank, it’s his responsiblity to find his mark and hit it. He’s flanked by Jon Bernthal who is his loader. He’s the wild and crazy one of the group who will sleep with anyone, drink anything, and not be afraid to speak his mind. He is very moody and doesn’t warm up to Norman at all. Every group needs a guy like him which brings entertain to the crew at any given time. His character has a lot of personal demons and when he gets deep into the bottle his personality and mood changes making him extremely tough to deal with. Wardaddy refuses to ever let him get under his skin because he knows how valuable he is to the team.
The quietest guy of the group is Michael Pena’s character Gordo. He just drives the tanks and fires his machine gun when he’s required to. Gordo is one of the guys but doesn’t act as crazy as everyone else, even when he’s drunk. He has a level head through out most of the movie and is one tough teacher to Norman. Speaking of Norman, he is the young inexperienced newest member of the crew. Norman is a very young boy who is thrust into a men’s world filled with gun, tanks, bullets, and dead people. He spends the majority of the movie avoiding confrontations but when he finally experiences heart-break, he does a complete 360 and turns into a killing machine. His boyhood is all but destroyed when he gets a gun and is out for revenge.
There have been many war movies out there. Some focus on certain battles, true stories of survival, or important figures during the war. Fury focuses on a piece of equipment and the humans who pour their blood into the gas tanks to keep the beast moving forward. This is by far one of the best war movies I’ve ever seen and I was emotional tuned in from start to finish. It is a rough and tough guy movie filled with lots of laughs, blown off heads, and mud. I read someone’s review last week that wondered if the mud budget was as high as the Brad Pitt’s salary and now I can see why he wrote that. Every scene involves dirty soldiers covered in mud, or tanks rolling through knee-deep mud. In regards to the tanks, the awesome thing about this film is that most of the tanks are real Sherman tanks, pulled out of retirement from numerous collections across the world. It was nice to see a hands on kind of film where there was little to no CGI.
my final thoughts: Fury is a must see on the big screen. Whether you are a guy or girl, love war movies or hate them, you won’t be disappointed with any aspect of this movie. I doubt Fury will be nominated for any major awards but is by far one of the best movies I’ve seen in 2014. Black Hawk Down may be my favourite war movie of all-time but Fury now sits in second place.
my star rating: 9 out 10
imdb: 8.3 out 10
rottentomatoes: 80% out 100%
rogerebert: 2 out 4