Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Movie Review: Fury

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I've been wanting to see Fury ever since it came out, but as with most films these days, I didn't get around to seeing it in the theaters. My brother got it from Red Box and invited me to watch it with him, which I readily agreed to.

Fury is the story of the crew of a tank named Fury that wound it's way through Nazi-occupied Germany, just months prior to the end of World War II. The men of the crew, lead by Brad Pitt's Don "Wardaddy" Collier, are bleak and war-hardened. They all have haunted eyes who have obviously seen atrocities most of us can't conceive of. When a very young new driver, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) joins the team, his journey with them begins. When it ends, so will the film, but probably not in the way you'd think.

History: Fury is not based on one true story, but rather a collection of true accounts from veterans who spent their time during the war in tanks. I read that the director did everything he could to keep things as real as possible. Watching the film, you definitely get a feel for how things would have been behind enemy lines during this period of the war. We see the American soldiers doing what they can to help the innocent German people, but we also see them invading the homes of those same people and making use of their supplies, which wasn't particularly comfortable for either the people or the soldiers. Everyone kind of accepts it and makes due, though, and the sadness of a desolate countryside wracked by war is extant. In short, the history is real and well-shown.

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Characters: Brad Pitt's Collier is a captain who opposes the young new addition to his team, specifically because the kid has obviously never seen war before. He does his best to protect his crew, knowing that he can't. At all. And often has to take moments to himself to breakdown before putting on a brave face once again. Shia LeBoeuf's Boyd "Bible" Swan is a man who turns everything over to God, and gives last rites to his fallen comrades on the battle field. Jon Bernthal's character is almost indistinguishable from the one he played in The Walking Dead--the all purpose douche bag that everyone wants to punch. The difference here is that, against the backdrop of such tragedy, we see that it's just the way a weak man deals with the horrors around him, and it's a lot harder to be angry with him for it. Logan Lerman and Michael Pena round out the crew. There are also appearances by Jim Parrack, Jason Isaacs (what war film would be complete without him?) and Scott Eastwood. In other words, a stellar cast of characters.

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Impact: Unlike most WWII films, this one is not about history or patriotism, or whether the fight was worth it. Those topics are touched on (how could they not be in a WWII-era piece?) but they aren't the focus. No, this film is about loss. It's about tragedy. It's about what the soldiers went through. Because whether what they fought for was worth it or not, they still faced unimaginable loss. Most of them dealt with psychological factors we can't even imagine. They knew that chances were the wouldn't survive the war. Nor would the men they fought beside. They'd never see their homeland again, but they made a stand anyway. That's the point of this movie, and it's a powerful one. It was one of those films that, following pretty much every scene, you just had to sit back and be like, "well that was horribly tragic."

Theme in a line: "Ideals are peaceful. History is violent." Spoken by Collier (Pitt)  to Ellison (Lerman).

Comparisons: My brother's first question when we reached the end was whether I liked it better than other modern war films like Saving Private Ryan or We Were Soldiers. I had to answer no. While this was very powerful and I'm glad I watched it, I still don't think it topped any of my current favorites. That said, I think everyone should see it once, just to appreciate the message it's trying to get across. Be warned, though, they don't skimp on the gore or the tragedy, and parts of it are very hard to watch, in the way of WWII films.

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Overall: While it didn't make my favorites list, I really liked it, and would highly recommend it to anyone who enjoys films set in this era, American history in general, or would just like a greater appreciation of the kinds of things American soldiers overseas have to deal with.

Has anyone else seen Fury? What did you think of it?

2 comments :

  1. Gore doesn't bother me. I do want to catch this on NetFlix.

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    1. You should! Gore doesn't bother me much either (I watch The Walking Dead after all). You should check it out when you can. Even tho it wasn't my fave, it's still worth a watch. :D Thanks Alex!

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