There are a lot of different kinds of war movies. There are movies about the air force, about bomb squads, about commando units, about great battles, about paratroopers, about radio units and about snipers. For some reason, there have been preciously little movies made about tank crews. But lo and behold, here comes “Fury”.
“Fury” is directed by David Ayer and stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Jon Bernthal and Michael Pena as the crew of a Sherman tank, fighting their way through Germany in the last days of World War II.
There are two things that “Fury” has that make it stand out from others. First is the tank itself. A quick google search shows that there are at this point three movies that focus on a tank’s crew, which after seeing “Fury” seems like such a waste of potential. Five men trapped in a metal war machine, how has that not been the stuff of dozens of movies at this point?
The second is the setting. In the time that “Fury” is set, the war is basically over. The allied forces are advancing towards Berlin and cleaning up along the way. Only the Germans haven’t quite given up and are brutally fighting the Allies for every step they take.
The film is doing well on those two things already, but it doesn’t stop there. It also looks amazing and has a strong cast that delivers good performances all around. They manage to make you forget that the characters themselves are a bit thin (although not “The Loft” level bad).
The one thing that this film has working against it is its pacing. I guess the idea was to show the unpredictability of war and keep you on your toes, which works out nicely enough throughout most of the film, but in the middle, it just loses all of its momentum while Brad Pitt and Logan Lerman have dinner with a German family in a recently occupied town.
The action scenes though are spectacular, especially when we get to see four Sherman tanks take on a single Tiger in a field. This and other scenes make it forgivable that Ayer had to shackle his tank crew down to make a compelling climax, especially since it ends up being very engaging.
All in all, “Fury” might not be quite the awards contender that its makers wanted it to be, due to weak characters and pacing that’s slightly off, but it is still a damn entertaining film that does a lot of things you won’t necessarily see in other war movies.