Fury: A gritty WWII film centering on a tank crew and Brad Pitt’s amazing hair.


You’ve seen the lukewarm trailer. You have seen the hair you wish you had. You’ve seen Shia Lebeouf’s antics in the news and filming. We have been through a run of bad reviews with games and movies here on the site and I was actually scared to see the film. But, it looks like for the moment that the spell is broken. Fury is out and while it is cliché a few times, it’s a pretty solid, if gritty war film.


The film features Logan Lerman getting slapped around by his tank crew. They should have had more time devoted to those scenes.

Fury tells the tale of a tank crew in the closing months of World War II. The Allies have pushed back the Germans all the way back into Germany, but are still encountering heavy resistance. Our crew led by Sergeant Collier (Brad Pitt) has taken a loss with their assistant driver and is forced to take on a green army clerk named Norman (Logan Lerman) to fill those shoes. While there becomes conflict with Norman’s almost naïve morality and a battle-hardened tank crew, the crew of the “Fury” must set out to watch the crossroads and halt a massive influx of German soldiers threatening the Allies supply chain.

Oh goddamn that hair is beautiful.

Let’s get the bad out of the way right now. The basic plot becomes almost painfully cliché at the second half of the film. The film starts surprisingly strong and a very graphic reminder why war is as chaotic as it is morbid and violent. Then we get to the second half where the characters fall in line with the tried and true “heroes must hold the line” mantra. While it works as a movie theme, the characters, as gritty as they are portrayed make it hard to be so cut and dry given their pretty solid performances. Also, Norman’s character is pretty underwhelming while he tries to provide the moral center that audience members need to relate to. The film focuses on the brutal Sgt. Collier and having Norman being a blatant contrast to the ambiguous morality on screen. I just can’t bring myself to give a shit about the Perks of a Wallflower kid not able to kill Nazis when the rest of the cast are putting on their Superman pajamas and performing like fucking champions. While it was probably intentional from a directorial and screenplay standpoint, Norman’s role is so distracting that it becomes hard to come back to the reality that the crew members create. Watching him get slapped around by the rest of the crew almost makes up for it.

Now that the bad is out of the way, there is a lot of the good that shines on. The first is that this film is gritty as shit; and it is especially gritty in the first half. Everything is covered in mud and an extremely oppressive atmosphere that feels like sunshine is not coming until the end of the war. If something is clean and happy, then something is wrong. We are opened with the crew in the aftermath of a battle that is not detailed but effects are shown. Their dead crewman still sitting in his chair in the tank, the crew of Fury struggles to keep it together and soldier on. Cue Norman’s first job assigned to replace their lost comrade by cleaning his chair and removing the bits of gore still decorating his area. There are many small little touches in the film that hammer home that war is brutal without it becoming distracting. Fury almost loses it in the end with the cliché battle scene, but overall stays true with the theme of war being a dirty, murderous business.

You'd probably want some air too if you were stuck in a tuna can that probably smelled like wet farts.

The crew’s relationship to each other feels fresh compared to most war movies I have seen. We have the hard hitting sergeant filled with a warped touch of resolve next to a devoted Christian firing the main gun that is reloaded by bullying Louisianan asshole with the tank driven by a smart-ass Hispanic. It has been a while since I have seen such a believable relationship with a group that kind of hates each other in ways but sticks together like family. Brad Pitt and Michael Pena do a decent job playing grizzled vets, but Jon Bernthal and Shia LaBeouf knock it out of the park without hamming it up. Say what you will about Shia’s off screen antics, but he sold me with his Bible thumping southerner. It’s hard to pull that dynamic in a convincing way and Fury gets it done…well minus Logan Lerman whose naïve morality as Norman is annoying. To be fair, that may have been the point.

For those needing a war film fix or just wanting to see how a tank crew operated in WWII, Fury is great. It may falter with a clichéd second half, but still manages to come together with some really surprising performances.