It is April of 1945 and troops are pushing toward the end of the war in the European Theatre. Don, also called Wardaddy (Brad Pitt), is in command of a five man crew aboard the Sherman tank.
Along with Swan ‘Bible’ (Shia LaBeouf), Garcia ‘Gordo’ (Michael Pena) and Travis ‘Coon-Ass’ (Jon Bernthal), they return from missions worn. After the loss of a man, Norman (Logan Lerman) is reassigned to Wardaddy’s group.
Lost and untrained, Norman who was previously a clerk, is thrust into war and everything that comes with it. Wardaddy must become a father, brother and leader to this band of men who have their own stories to tell and their own demons to face.
This group of men will go from mission to mission until they are the last tank left to face a Germany army coming straight for them.
FINAL WORD: Pitt as Wardaddy once again puts in a solid performance as a military leader. He actually, for me, plays several roles in the film. First, Pitt is the father to the sometimes rowdy group, but also when they need reminding why they are in the war. Definitely a father more so for Lerman’s character who needs constant face time. Second, he is a brother to this band and finally a strong leader that each one looks to when fear sets in. I truly enjoyed his performance.
LaBeouf as Bible is the man who looks to God and has no problem showing his emotions. Wanting things to make sense, LaBeouf plays this character in such a way that reminded me once again that he does have something to offer in film – just stay away from Transformers and parties Shia and I’ll continue to be on your side!
Pena as Gordo is the quiet anchor of the group. He takes things as they are and doesn’t try to explain why men do what they do to one another. He understands each of the men and doesn’t judge in the slightest. There are pearls of wisdom that come from him just rolling down the road and in the heat of it. He knows his job and does it.
Bernthal as Coon-Ass is just the wild man of the group. He doesn’t hold back his emotions; certainly doesn’t hold back his thoughts seeing everything as a reason to rage. There is an uncontrollable angst just beneath the surface and Bernthal portrayal kept me wondering if/when/how he was going to just completely lose it.
Lerman as Norman is the character that will break your heart. From the moment he is on screen it becomes clear that he wreaks with fear (as anyone in his situation would). Being the ‘fng’ in a group that is already close isn’t easy and proving he can be one of them means he must do things he doesn’t want to. An innocent in a group of seasoned warriors, Lerman gives such an amazing performance.
Other cast include: Jim Parrack as Sgt. Binkowski, Brad Williams as Sgt. Davis, Kevin Vance as Sgt. Peterson, Zavier Samuel as Lt. Parker, Scott Eastwood as Sgt. Miles, Laurence Spellman as Sgt. Dillard, Jason Isaacs as Cpt. Waggoner, Anamaria Marinca as Irma and Alicia von Rittberg as Emma.
TUBS OF POPCORN: I give FURY four tubs of popcorn out of five. This film isn’t what I thought it would be. Instead of chasing down the ravages of war, they look inward – inside a tight spaced tank to tell the story of these men. Faced with doubt and questions, when the time came they stood together to do what was right.
Filmed beautifully, which I realize is a strange term for a battle film, it isn’t sugar coated with clean uniforms and shiny shoes but instead taking the route of showing how difficult living in a tank was for these men then, and now.
Director Ayer doesn’t hesitate to put the trials of these men up front with all the ugliness and brutality that is war. When I asked him in a recent interview what he hoped the viewers of FURY would come away with he said, “I think the war is so compelling to people because it truly was a struggle between good and evil. People think that the outcome was so black and white but it wasn’t. It was just as moral hazardous and just as confusing and painful as anything our Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines face now.”
In the end – the war doesn’t end quietly!