World War II is one of the most documented historical periods in film. We’ve seen A LOT of stories. So for another one to be told, it’s got to really find a unique and substantial story to tell. Fury does manage to find a different focus than other films (the team inside a tank), but it doesn’t present a compelling enough story.
That’s no fault of Brad Pitt, who gives a sturdy performance as Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier, the commander of a 5-man Sherman tank crew, who are slowly making their way through the heart of Nazi Germany in the final months of the war. Brad brings a great sternness and maturity to the role. He’s joined by Michael Pena, Shia LaBeouf, and Jon Bernthal. When the movie begins, their fifth crew member has been killed, and Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), who is the rookie who has never seen battle, joins the team.
The main goal of the film seems to show these men as monsters. Men who have lost their humanity. They have been through hell and have no connection to home anymore. They’ve spent so much time in this small tank, seen so many comrades die, that they have become heartless and unrelenting killers. It’s an interesting perspective on a terrible war, but it doesn’t develop each character enough to make you care about them. It’s just a group of dislikable guys. Shia LaBeouf barely even registers in the whole film.
There’s an extended sequence where the guys visit 2 women in an apartment in a German town they have just taken over. The sequence is supposed to be more profound than it is. It’s just tedious watching these one-dimensional characters air their grievances about the war.
Writer-Director David Ayer has created a handsome film, but an empty one. I appreciate that he’s set out to make an unsympathetic, bleak war film, but there’s no connection to be made with any of the characters. Fury does not prove itself to be a worthy addition to the plethora of World War II stories.