Fury (2014)

We enter the war in its dying days. Germany has been defeated, but they haven't given up yet. Instead, the Nazis are characterized as desperate and essentially willing to deal out whatever damage they can in a last-ditch effort to turn the tide back. From the glimpses we are given into the allied forces, it appears that the Germans are delivering quite a bit of damage to them with the limited munitions that they have left.

Enter Brad Pitt (known as Wardaddy) and the gang in the tank they dubbed Fury. Brad and his crew are battle weary and experienced, and they just lost one of their crew who is quickly replaced by an inexperienced private (played by Logan Lerman). It's up to Pitt and his ragtag gang of war criminals (more on that later) to get him up to speed by abusing and demeaning him as much as possible. They interact like a dysfunctional family, but they work in battle like a well-oiled machine.

Rounding out the cast in the tank are Shia LaBeouf as the very religious soldier nicknamed "Bible," the reliable Michael Peña, and the abusive and untamed Jon Bernthal as "Coon-Ass" or occasionally "Dog." Here is where the movie starts wading into its issues. Brad Pitt did a very good job in his role, and he usually does in all of his roles. He's that guy that I want to hate, but I reluctantly admit that he is just really freaking good at acting. That said, he was the wrong person for this movie.

Unlike Brad, Shia LaBeouf doesn't have any talent, and he should never be allowed to stain the big screen with his stink again. He manages to stay off the screen for a good portion of the time, and that's really all that we can ask for. Michael Peña is a good supporting actor in almost everything he's in, as he doesn't steal the spotlight, and he fills the supporting role very well. Jon Bernthal plays a disturbing character who you kind of hope dies right from the start - much like the character of Shane that he played in The Walking Dead.

A friend who was knee deep in the military for most of his life had some commentary about the tactics used in the final scene, and I had many of my own as a layman. What I don't get is why we see so many Germans carrying anti-tank weapons, but we see so few of them used. And THAT isn't even talking about the tank-to-tank warfare that they engaged in that defies logic.

All told, it's a gritty film that does a good job of getting across the horrors of war from a personal perspective, but it never really addresses the larger issues and goes out of its way to avoid covering the futility of war in favor of a more Hollywood ending that I saw coming about 10 minutes into the movie.

Acting was very good
Story was compelling
Effects were good
Tactics were ill-conceived
Direction was good

Bottom Line: An interesting - if flawed - film.



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