REVIEW: Viewers shell out for ‘Fury’

Contributed Photo
Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) is a U.S Army commander for the 2nd Armored Division. When German forces will push to- wards his platoon it will be up to Wardaddy and his crew to fight the approaching Germans and hold the line.
Pitt leads strong cast

By Brady Wesp
Contributing Writer/Spectator

There have been countless films that have captivated us with their ultra-realistic portrayals of the countless horrors and battles of World War II. They shocked us with their accounts of gruesome wartime violence, heart wrenching crimes against humanity and bonds between brothers in arms.

“Fury” is a film that could potentially kickstart a new era of WWII movies for the modern age.  Up until now, most would have believed that all the ways in which this war could have been told had been done. This movie, however, follows the five man crew of a U.S. Sherman tank deep in the heartland of Nazi Germany in April 1945 during the last month of the war in Europe.  

Brad Pitt (star/executive producer) leads this cast as the war heavy commander of his Sherman tank as Sgt. Don “Wardaddy” Collier.  Wardaddy and his crew have survived together for four years. They started fighting Germans in Africa and now they are fighting Germans in Germany.

Joining Brad Pitt inside “Fury” are Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña and “The Walking Dead’s” Jon Bernthal. LaBeouf plays a Bible quoting southwestern US Army man who tries to keep himself and everyone else sane as they go about mowing down Nazis. Michael Peña is Fury’s driver who, along with Bernthal’s engineering character, shares a passion for booze and women…whenever either of them is available. Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is their new recruit assigned to be Fury’s new assistant driver, and Norman is a rookie Army recruit. He has only been in the Army for eight weeks, he was a clerk typist and if that was not bad enough, he has had zero tank training.

Wardaddy told him, “I had the best assistant driver and gunman in the whole army, and now I got you.  What good are you to me if you can’t do your job?” Tensions are high as Wardaddy has less than a day to teach Norman how and why to pull the trigger, thus changing him from a dangerous liability to a Nazi killing team player. The sergeant’s brutish teaching tactics are a gut-wrenching testament to how boys need to come-of-age quickly in order to survive the terrors of war, let alone become enveloped by it.

During the European theater of war, U.S. Sherman tanks were the workhorses of the Army and Marine Corps; however, they were outclassed and outgunned by the superior German Tiger I tanks. The Tiger Is might not have had the numbers against the Shermans, but numbers barely mattered when a single shell could blow right through the Sherman’s armor as if it was paper.  Luckily that was not the fate of Fury for it would go out in a blaze of much greater glory.

After rendezvousing at a crossroads where they were assigned to guard, their tanks tracks get derailed and leave them exposed in the middle of the street. As if things could not get any worse, Norman races back from his observation post with news that a large Nazi S.S. battalion is heading their way. The logical course of action amongst the crew was to abandon the tank and seek to regroup with the rest of the company. Wardaddy however could not very much allow a squad of S.S. soldiers to march past their position and land a surprise attack on the rear of their company’s position. 

He opts to stay and hold the line.

The agony of the fight and the scary moments really give an accurate depiction of the action these men saw in these places over in Germany, much like the Battle of the Bulge. The atmosphere created by the movie was astounding. The sound effects, the cinematography and its over-the-top graphic and crisp visual effects gives you the proper war film experience that keeps you on the edge of your seat and teaming with anticipation as you see the brotherly bond growing between the main characters. The CGI used on the tracer rounds and shell explosions during all of the movie’s battle scenes were absolutely superb. The colors are vibrant and right in your face and their impact literally implants you in your seat with feeling that it went off right in your face.

Fury topped the U.S. box office with a debut haul of $23.5 million, officially knocking Ben Affleck’s “Gone Girl” out of first place.  Truth be told, I feel this is Brad Pitt’s finest performance since his role in 2009’s “Inglorious Basterds.” War has been a soldier’s secret when it comes to what actually happened “over there.”  “Fury” stands as one of those films where after you watch, you can have an abstract concept of what war could be like.

Brady Wesp is the contributing writer for The Spectator. He can be reached by ae.spectator@gmail.com