Fury Film Review 2014 World War 2 Brad Pitt

Fury Film Review 2014 Cast and Theme

As far as World War 2 Films go Fury holds onto many filmic legacies as the film narrative thunders along. Perhaps there has been a demise of the genre as a whole as more conventional Hollywood film styles move into the Mainstream.

This is not to say though that Fury is unrewarding. The visual impression of Fury remains both gritty and realistic. Indeed it may be beneficial to refer to the film as “Gritty” rather than Fury. Fury of course is the name of the M4 Sherman Tank commandeered by the crew:

  • Brad Pitt Don “Wardaddy” Collier – the boss and sergeant of his tank crew
  • Shia LeBoeouf Boyd “Bible” Swan – dedicated acting and loyal yet distorted following of Wardaddy.
  • Logan Lerman Norman “Machine” Ellison – the newbie crew member who is not fully aware of the Fury’s suffering or the motivation of the tank’s crew.
  • Michael Pena Trini “Gordon” Garcia – philosophical yet alien in some respects due to his heritage
  • Jon Bernthal Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis – the true grunt, un-intellectual yet also as a loyal as a dog – probably as handsome as one too!

As the war is grinding to an end it is 1945 and US forces battle into the German Heartland. The film essential revolves around the relationship of “Wardaddy” and his crew; acting in cohesion they form the focal point of the film. Remember this is a film about the confinement and team-manship of a tank – not a free roaming infantry WW2 film.

And this is where Fury shines as it helps the audience blend into the struggles and confinements of this perhaps unique world. Indeed the trappings of the Fury tank remain the key focal point of the film. Building up to the climax, it is interesting to see the tank shine in both its infantry support and close combat fighting as the US army progress through the German Motherland.

Wardaddy is scarred both physically and mentally

Pitt's performance in Fury is well praised
Pitt's performance in Fury is well praised

Fury on Pre-Order

Fury [Blu-ray]
Fury [Blu-ray]

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Fury - the Most Striking Scenes

One of the most striking scenes is when Pitt and Lerman (Wardaddy and Machine) invade a German woman’s home (Irma – played by Anamaria Marinca) and discover her cousin (Emma – played by Alicia von Rittberg) hiding under a bed. Lerman is introduced to a beautiful young German woman who accompanies him as he (mysteriously) plays the piano – a skill that so far had been kept from the audience. As the two young romances move into the bedroom to consummate a stolen love the scene reflects the notion of a kind of twisted family logic – that at once seems both out of place, and yet central to the horrors of war and the longing for normality.

The scene takes on a sense of doom as “Bible”, “Gordon”, and “Coon-Ass” essentially invade the family atmosphere – and here the film takes a dramatic turn towards the concept of menace and chaos as a family scene becomes extorted and perverted by the presence of the extra unwanted crew members. The scene to me reminds me of the opening of Tarantino’s “Inglorious Basterds” as the sense of menace builds and builds with the audience wondering what is going to happen next.

Will the scene turn into a bloodbath (Tarantino style) or the question that needs to be asked is what is going to happen next? This for me is the beauty of all cinema including WW2 films and Fury itself, trying to understand what will happen based on the narrative and acting is the ultimate delight of 21st century cinema. You must always leave the audience intrigued and guessing.

Fury Brad Pitt the Official Trailer 2014

Fury The Visual Aspect and Memorable Quotes

Moving back to the mise-en-scene it is fair to say that Fury revolves around the idea of grit, dirt and death as the film progresses. Often we see scenes of burning bodies, or people crashed under tank tracks as the film moves forward.

Often the burning of corpses or an old woman cutting off horse meat from a dead animal is central to the film’s exploration of the destruction and carnage of war. Indeed the ending titles roll over a whole host of WW2 footage showing many aspects of the war in all its media glory.

Of course this does not advance the film, but it gives it a context that unites the films negative image of war against the destruction of human against human. One of the most memorable quotes reveals this as such:

Boyd 'Bible' Swan: Wait until you see it.
Norman Ellison: See what?
Boyd 'Bible' Swan: What a man can do to another man.

The film shows how the Fury tank is essentially a pack horse covered in various anti-tank defenses as well as packs/mud/grit/fuel tanks etc that marks its capabilities in battle. Pitt himself displays a grand sense of the war-torn hero – showing moments of fear and desperation as much as the men he commands.

The combat scenes are visually stunning including the battle with a dominant German Tiger Tank – the US tanks (4 at the start – then one is knocked out) initially decide to “rush” the Tiger in the hope of firing more shells, and therefore scoring a fatal hit as opposed to the Tiger’s ability to fight back against greater odds.

The scene ends badly for the US as 3 of the 4 tanks are knocked out – with a nail biting climax the Fury manages to get around the back of the Tiger and with 2 shots manages to destroy the tank.

The Fury M4 Sherman in Battle

Fury features fantastic infantry and tank vs tank battles as well as close combat fighting.
Fury features fantastic infantry and tank vs tank battles as well as close combat fighting.

The Tank Crew and Familiar WW2 Themes in Fury

All actors in the film show amazing abilities to convey the sense of comradeship and trust that unites the tank crew. As Norman (the newbie) joins his ability to kill without question is a stark counterpoint to the war-weary crew.

His initiation begins with the result that his inability to act costs the lives of another tank crew, furthermore his lack on killing instruct when commanded to murder a family loving German adds to the sense that he really is not part of the crew and is still a youngster in contrast to the rest of the films central Antagonists.

In this sense Fury as a war film shows a familiar theme of WW2 films in that the inexperienced characters human aspect often leads to moments of revealed humanity against the experienced and yet somehow dead central figures.

Fury All Star Cast

Each actor in Fury gives an outstanding performance
Each actor in Fury gives an outstanding performance

Fury the Final Battle Scene

With respects to the final scene it appears to be out of context with the initial part of the Fury Film. In terms of realism it is easily possible to discount how 300 well armed SS German Soldiers could not destroy a stationary US Tank. This is of course a given. How easy would it be to circumvent the tank and knock out its weak sides? I am not a soldier but the endless carnage of the final battle scene reduced the films message as well as its plausibility.

The concept was to explore how the crew all overcame the chance to walk away and fight till the death after all it was “best job I ever had” yet the descent into insane carnage moved the German antagonist into pure cannon fodder – and this was never the case as the initial start of the film defined Germany as being fanatical in its resistance – so if they were fanatical why would they suddenly turn into brain-dead zombies unable to defeat a static Sherman.

Of course this is just a film and as many people have pointed out it does portray US as a supreme force, capable of issuing vengeance with the spray of a Tommy-gun or from the bullets spewing from a .50 CAL machine Gun. This is not to say it is no entertaining. It is entertaining; the film offers a gritty realism in terms of the closing of WW2 and how sacrifices still needed to be made. The final scenes only act as a distraction from the rest of the film narrative whilst the closing titles help lock the film into its violent and bloody legacy.

The German Tiger Tank

A real show stopper in Fury is the German Tiger Tank - which manges to knock out 3 Shermans in a very intense battle scene
A real show stopper in Fury is the German Tiger Tank - which manges to knock out 3 Shermans in a very intense battle scene

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