As far as World War II movies go, Fury does a good job following five men as they battle the Nazis from inside their Sherman tank, all the while being surrounded by smoke, mud, fire, and death – lots of death. Fury is essentially a day in the life of this odd band of characters, lead by their Sergeant (Brad Pitt), the man to whom they give credit for keeping them alive since the fight in North Africa some years ago. In all honesty, their names, where they’re from, and what they did before the war doesn’t really matter in this film, what matters is their dedication to the fight and how they each play their part. There certainly isn’t as much character depth as there is in a movie like Saving Private Ryan, but then again that’s not really the type of movie Fury is trying to be (it’s also 35 minutes shorter, to put it in perspective). The main focus is on the rookie (Logan Lerman), a typist who suddenly finds himself at the forefront of the war and replacing a key member of the original team, and how Sgt. Don tries to break him in.
By far the movie’s best performances are put in by Logan Lerman and Shia LaBeouf. LaBeouf is almost unrecognizable as the overly religious and mustachioed gunner. Thankfully none of his former arrogant/witty/charming personas (for which he is best known) make an appearance in the film. Lerman flawlessly portrays the terrified rookie just trying to cope with his new situation and survive his new team. Brad Pitt puts in a solid performance, as usual, and shows just enough emotion to connect the audience to his character. It is unfortunate that a lot of the dialogue is lost in muffled and mumbled speech (the southern American accents don’t help much either), but the banter between characters is pretty great (and tense) at times.
The real reason to watch the movie is for the tank battles. As with any WWII movie, there is a lot of death and a fair amount of gore, but David Ayer seemed to make every effort to keep the battles realistic and exciting at the same time. The audience gets to watch the Sherman tank and its team operate in a number of different situations – from an open-field tank-on-tank battle to defending a post against a mass of foot soldiers. Each situation is gripping, has you on the edge of your seat, and makes you grimace as the odd body part gets blown off.
Another aspect of Fury that cannot go without mention is the score. There is one scene in particular where Steven Price’s music just adds that extra layer to an already emotional moment and allows the audience to really connect. And as rare as it is, the end credit music is equally as fantastic and is worth sitting through.
Overall, Fury was a decent WWII movie that is worth watching. It doesn’t feel too long even though its running time clocks in at 2 hours and 15 minutes. There are a few scenes that last a little longer than they should, but it isn’t painful but any means. Those who can’t handle violence should probably avoid Fury but most people should enjoy it for what it is.