Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015


When I was younger I used to think horror was all that and a bag of chips. And it still is. However, my definition of horror has changed over the years. It will undoubtedly continue to do so, too. But as of now I believe I can say that Fury is horror. Maybe not the horror of true war, but the horror of a new blood Hollywood war film.

David Ayer is a director I know very little about. I know he has directed some movies of merit, but I've never seen them. Honestly, I couldn't name one of them without Google's assistance. Perhaps he's most famous for writing the film Training Day rather than his directing skill. I actually haven't seen Training Day so I can't verify if that is worthy of being Ayer's best contribution to the cinematic world. In the end Fury should have a say-so, though. 

Tank war movies probably aren't a big sub-genre. I like to consider myself a big of a film buff to a degree and I can't recall seeing too many tank movies. Yeah, there are a gazillion WWII movies (probably so many that all of them combined are longer than WWII itself), but there aren't many tank movies. 

Fury presents us with five characters of varying degrees of likeability as they travel in their Sherman tank Fury. The leader of this ragtag bunch is Don "Wardaddy" Collier and he is portrayed by the increasingly talented Brad Pitt. I was a bit hesitant about watching this movie because of Brad Pitt's presence, but that's not because I doubt his ability. It's more about the shadow of his Aldo Raine character from Inglourious Basterds. I was a big fan of the Aldo Raine character and at first it seemed like Pitt was just replaying his Aldo Raine role in a tank as this movie started.

There are some subtle differences, though. Wardaddy hates Nazis and likes to kill them, but he's not quite the more darkly comedic hick Aldo Raine and that is a good thing. 

My other hesitation about this movie was the presence of Shia Labeouf. As an actor he just hasn't won me over. I liked him in that golf movie The Greatest Game Ever Played, but other than that I just can't take too much Labeouf. He sucks as an actor. He just does. However, even a monkey can write a masterpiece if given enough time and Fury was Labeouf's time to shine once again. He didn't exactly steal the movie or anything like that, but his presence was tolerable and did nothing to hinder the movie. 

The primary draw of this film (other than the fantastic battle sequences involving the tanks) is Norman Ellison's relationship with Wardaddy and the rest of the gang as he learns the hard way of life in a tank in Nazi Germany. Norman is a novice in the ways of war and knows more about being a typist than shooting the corpses of Nazis to make sure they are dead. Obviously, there's going to be a bit of a learning curve for him. 

Logan Lerman did excellent in his role as Norman and he is more or less serves as the eyes of the audience so it helps that he didn't completely hack his way through this movie although most people will only watch for Pitt's presence or the explosions.

The only real knock I have on this movie is the ending. Not only is it too unrealistic but it is also overdone. If the bulk of the movie was a chance to really up the ante on the "realness of war" aspect than the final battle undoes virtually all of that with the intrusion of Hollywood nonsense. The ending still has some merit, but it passed a line between gritty war movie and popcorn action movie that it probably should not have. 

Still, flaws and all, Fury is an incredible film. I would recommend it and wholeheartedly. An alternate ending would have lifted this movie to some truly magnificent heights, but as it is it is still really good. 

It's just not the war movie in that can steal the limelight from the likes of Saving Private Ryan or The Longest Day


  1. I saw this last night and thought it was excellent despite the unrealistic ending. The first half of this movie is realistic, brutal and tense as hell. The scene with the two women was incredibly tense and I had no idea which way that scene was going to go. The end was ok but that kind of ending belonged in a different type of movie. Still, I enjoyed it. Logan Lerman is a hell of a young actor. He's done some just for kids kind of things that you can try to avoid (because he was a kid) but when you see him in his meaty roles, he's damn good. If you can handle a depressing kind of movie, check him out in "Perks Of A Wallflower" where he plays a high school kid battling depression (that's a little simplistic because it's a little more than that). There's a little movie no one saw called "My One And Only" that's good too. He was the kid in 3:10 to Yuma also.