Five-time Academy Award nominee Brad Pitt delivers another gritty performance in this intense, gripping World War II thriller. The 50-year old actor more than holds his own as the very capable and confident Army sergeant leading a 5-man tank crew against Nazis in 1945 Germany. Pitt, along with the other well cast soldiers in the movie, poignantly demonstrate the horrors found on the battlefield while showcasing the courage to stand up for each other even when their situation turns dire.
Movie viewers hoping that “Fury” resembles the 1998 Oscar-winning “Saving Private Ryan” (11 Academy Award nominations) will be mildly disappointed. Some similarities, however, do exist between the two war stories. The highpoint in “Fury” is marked by exceptional cinematography with very realistic, but gruesome, battle scenes. In fact, the final thirty-minutes of “Fury” are extremely captivating and will make audience members feel almost as though its them fighting the Germans from inside an American tank. In several scenes, it’s easy to draw connections to Tom Hanks’ squad pinned down by enemy fire throughout France during “Saving Private Ryan”.
“Fury” departs, though, from any likeness to the most successful war movies due to its blandly written script and the lack of any meaningful investment in the film’s characters–including Pitt’s—from the audience. For most of the actors we’re never even told their names; instead only given a nickname…like the movie’s title for their armored ride and the real star of the film. Between the fascinating battle engagements, none of the characters or their actions becomes particularly endearing to viewers or noteworthy. We care for these guys because of their vital mission and the extremely dangerous circumstances they find themselves, but the film doesn’t afford us much more than that on a personal level to the soldiers.
The bottom line is that “Fury” is a violent war movie that graphically illustrates the heavy burden America carried to stop fascism and Adolf Hitler in Europe. Rightfully, the movie pulls no punches on the violence of war and the high price paid by our nation and her greatest generation. While “Fury” may have sold the military storytelling a bit short in detailing the bigger picture, it gets the small stuff spot-on. It exhibits the many superstitions and silly slogans of those wearing the uniform, along with the foxhole bonding found only in men under deadly fire. “Fury” offers a grisly, unvarnished look inside one Sherman tank and her courageous men battling evil. It honors all those who have ever served our country and found themselves fighting long odds for survival. For that reason alone, “Fury” is a worth seeing and remembering.
“Fury” is rated R for some grisly images, language throughout, and strong war violence. It’s available on DVD and Blu-ray. Check out Netflix, iTunes and amazon.com.
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