Brad Pitt can practically do no wrong so it’s a no-brainer that Fury is going to do well at least for a few weeks at the box office. Does that necessarily mean this is a good movie though? Let’s see.
The gist is that Pitt stars as a jaded leader of a tank unit in World War 2, as they cross German territory. When we start the movie, one of their gunners has just been killed and a new recruit comes in to replace them, so we get to see the situation through the eyes of young actor Logan Lerman (the Percy Jackson movies, The Perks of Being a Wallflower). The other crew in this tank include Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, and Jon Bernthal. The movie is directed by David Ayer, most famous for films like Training Day, Sabotage, and End of Watch.
This cast is incredible and it’s through these characters that the film mostly succeeds. We don’t get a lot of history on these characters, as we basically jump into the situation as the war is almost over, but we get enough moments from these guys that we can totally buy who they are and what they contribute to the team. Pitt is great, as we would expect, but it’s really his supporting players that steal the show.
Logan Lerman is going to be a huge name someday and this movie will be his breakout role. The fact that he can steal a scene from Brad Pitt is saying something. Shia LaBeouf gives his best performance ever in this film, as he completely has changed into this character. Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal don’t get as many moments to shine but they each have breathtaking showcase moments. Bernthal is a little hard to like but as the movie progresses, you start to see the effect that war can have on a man and his example is one of the most terrifying.
I had heard that the movie was long and dragged a little but I only felt that way in one scene, otherwise the movie had me on the edge of my seat for a solid two hours and delivered some of the most visceral war moments in any film recently. We’ve kind of left behind big war movies (the last good one maybe being War Horse) but Fury may trigger a resurgence of the franchise.
What didn’t work?
Like I said, there was only one scene that (for me) dragged on a little too long but I totally understand what that scene was trying to evoke. I also struggled to understand some (or most) of the dialogue, so the movie when you’re watching at home would benefit from some subtitles.
Fury is an intense ride and offers a very focused glimpse at a functioning tank unit and gives us a perspective on the war that we haven’t seen, which is cool considering how many war movies we’ve been given. Great performances were given, including the best of Shia LaBeouf’s career, though young Logan Lerman carries the movies. It can be a visceral and tough movie to watch but incredibly worthwhile.