It’s 1945, the war is coming to an end, but before it does more destruction is unavoidable.
Written and directed by David Ayer. Ayer is well known for his work in Training Day and The Fast and the Furious.
The cast includes Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena, and Logan Lerman. They play American soldiers that operate a Sherman tank performing rescue missions on German soil.
The dynamic of the tank crew is part of the magic of this film. The original crew is comprised of Don “Wardaddy” Collier as the leader. Under Don are those running the tank: Boyd “Bible” Swan, Grady “Coon Ass” Travis, and Trini “Gordo” Garcia. We come upon the men after they have just lost a comrade, one whose remnants remain splattered in the tank. Needless to say, even after the victory of survival the men are in a rough state.
This is the time that young Norman Ellison joins the crew. Being sheltered from the violence thus far as a typist Norman is unprepared for the atrocities of war. This naivety doesn’t last long especially being that his first task is to scrape the inside of the tank for remains of the last machine gunner. Norman at first rejected by the crew, who have little patience for a newbie, is taken in by Collier. Collier quickly and harshly teaches Norman how to survive in the throes of war.
This movie is a good illustration of how war although devastating forms a closeness. How the most different people can come together during tragedy. There isn’t a lot that the crew has in common but that their lives are constantly threatened in battle and that they depend on each other for survival.
Part of what this film allows the audience to do is to question their thoughts on the Second World War. This story does little to hold up the traditional good guy/bad guy scenarios that we may be used to. The Americans are the ones that we see committing the most disgusting crimes while the Germans can be seen making pardons.
An example can be seen through Brad Pitt’s character Don Collier. He is complex in a way that doesn’t allow him to be labeled simply as a “good guy”. He does good things like taking in Norman, not taking part of the looting and violence after taking over the German town, etc. But he also does some not so heroic things like leading his tank crew to death because his pride. These gray areas create a much more realistic character and story.
This film walks the line between realism and what I call badassery. I think the storyline is believable. I got lost in what was going on, and was invested in the characters. Along side this realism are the action-flick tropes. Like the tough-as-nails dude fighting groups of men at once. I think the sergeant fulfills that role as he screams “Bring me more pigs to slaughter!” at the German soldiers from the top of his tank.
Ayer’s Fury encompasses all aspects of a war movie, action-thriller, and coming of age story in one go. This sets it apart from the typical war genre movie and allows the film some unpredictability. This and a fantastic cast really make this movie one to see.