When it comes to great war films, the main objective of any director is for the audience to feel involved – as if they are truly in the middle of a war situation. David Ayer’s Fury, to an extent, follows that trend, portraying an intimate observation into the gritty life as a soldier during WWII, but struggles to truly leave a mark of greatness.
Brad Pitt leads a team of tank soldiers through Germany in 1945 – the last knockings of the Second World War. The Nazis are on the back foot defending their own land as the troops battle through in their tight tank. Following the loss of one of their gunners, the group are joined by baby-faced rookie, Norman, played by Logan Lerman. With plenty of skills on a typewriter, his experience in a battlefield environment is at a minimum, and he must learn the brutal and ferocious methods of surviving.
Ayer does very well portraying the fierce grit of war and all it’s gruesome features that one would witness when doing battle. Using Norman, we get a clear understanding of the harsh nature of combat in WWII and just how much character a soldier needs to prove himself on the front line.
Lerman does a good job of playing the weak, untrained and weedy role of Norman learning the difficulties of war. Pitt, who of course is no stranger to the role of an F bombing US military officer, delivers a steady performance but certainly not his strongest.
The biggest surprise is Shia LeBeouf, playing the role of the strongly religious turret gunman, constantly with tears in his eyes and passion in his words – not the usual bland LeBeouf we are used to. Michael Peña and Jon Bernthal make up the tail of the squad and both give strong cameo performances, but nothing too memorable.
As a war film, Fury fits the bill with plenty of mud, gore, blood, bullets and bombs. But the CGI seriously lets the film down. The machine gun exchanges between Allie and enemy tanks could easily be mistaken for a battle you’ll be seeing in the upcoming Star Wars film – bullets flying like lasers across the screen. Nevertheless, the battles are certainly engaging; helped by some glorious damp, muddy settings across the German countryside.
The film unfortunately ends with a preposterous cliché, which seriously disappoints. Good but not great, Fury is still an enjoyable watch and a must see for any WWII fanatic.