“Fury” is a World War II movie that provides a sense of intense, visceral violence and a semblance of authenticity that probably hasn’t been seen since “Saving Private Ryan.” I think this movie could be for WWII what Platoon was for Vietnam.
Brad Pitt stars as Wardaddy, a hard-boiled, aggressive Army sergeant who leads a group of men into Nazi-occupied Germany to hunt down and destroy their enemy in the closing month of the war. No, this is not “Inglourious Basterds 2.” Gone is the cheesy Southern accent Pitt displayed in that movie. Instead, we’re treated to a series of battle sequences that are unflinching and unrelenting once they get started, with Pitt and Co. taking no prisoners.
In one of his best performances in recent memory, Shia LaBeouf costars as Bible, a soldier given that moniker due to his religious beliefs. Other members of the squad include Michael Pena’s Gordo and Logan Lerman’s Norman, whom the group nicknames “Machine.”
Regarding the other elements in the film, there are several moments in which the characters are given time to establish who they are and where they’ve been. That’s true for each actor involved, and one of the most-effective scenes involves the soldiers entering a war-torn town and having breakfast with two girls who are cousins.
“Fury” was written and directed by David Ayer, who has a knack for crafting hard-edged filmmaking like “Training Day” and “End of Watch.” However, this movie is about much more than war. It’s also about how war affects everyone who goes through it and the steadfast determination to survive.
The look of this movie is authentic in every sense. We get everything from darkened skies to bombed-out cities to action sequences that might go too far with their violence, but still give uncompromising impacts.
Unlike “The Monuments Men,” which opened earlier this year, “Fury” finds a tremendous balance with unexpected humor in the middle of its chaos. It gives us characters that we like and proves it’s about more than just sound and, well, fury.
(Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout.)
Hall is a syndicated columnist in South Georgia.