It’s a genre we’ve grown accustomed to on the big screen since the invention of film. War – and all that it stands for. The horror, the glory, the sheer pointlessness of it all.
So when a film like Fury comes along, it can be difficult to determine what it could be trying to say that hasn’t been said before. Turns out, not much.
Extremely serious, deeply disturbed and with accents that can be difficult to understand, the main characters manning a Tank called Fury in Germany at the close of WW2 – Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (Brad Pitt), Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan (Shia LeBeouf), Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia ( Michael Pena), and Grady ‘Coon-Ass’ Travis (Jon Bernthal), are joined by fresh meat Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) who was busy typing up notes in Army HQ before being redeployed into the tank crew.
The storyline is sparse, if existent at all, the dialogue is heavily accented, with the film a series of intense battles juxtaposed against more intimate portraits of the cast, and the main theme seems to be the dehumanising effect that years on the battlefield can have on a person.
Lacking any of the usual banter and camaraderie we’ve come to expect from virtually all previous war productions from Generation Kill, Band of Brothers, or Inglorious Basterds, Fury is a bleak picture of the realities of how low men can go when pitted against each other in a life or death struggle. It’s unlikely to see a spike in recruitments, but does serve as a grim reminder of how we need to respect the poor souls who have gone to war and returned, and done their best to reacclimatise to “normal” life.
The one aspect I kept coming back to was the involvement of Brad Pitt. Given his penchant recently for more political films – World War Z and 12 Years a Slave, it makes me think there is more to this film than meets the eye.