When you are young and dumb, it is impossible to understand or know the brutality and inhumanity of warfare. Even as an adult, unless you have sense the destruction of tragedy and war first hand, we cannot truly comprehend the destructiveness and mercilessness of combat. The movie Fury, like Saving Private Ryan, Platoon and Full Metal Jacket, does its best to give us a glimpse of what war is like. After seeing movies like Fury and other films, it makes me wonder how people can willingly and enthusiastically go into war.
Fury is a World War II film, following the trails and trials of a band of tankers who are attempting to survive the final days of World War II, while carrying out the various missions that they are assigned. Unlike World War II movies of the past, there is no glorious mission or super heroic and invincible leader or soldier leading troops into battle. Here we have the tale of a lone tank, crewed by five men who share a deep bond that seems to go beyond brotherhood. Their daily mission in life is to perform their jobs and hopefully live to fight another minute, hour or day until the conflict with Nazi Germany ends. The leader of this band is Don “War Daddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) who along with Gordo, Bible, Coon Ass and Norman, fight the good fight while squabbling among themselves like a dysfunctional family that his led by the authoritarian hand of Don. His justification for his actions is to ensure that his boys go home. Norman is the new member of the crew, who spends much of the film trying to earn the respect of his fellow tankers. The relationship among these men that is displayed during this film is exceptional. The crux of the film is based on Don trying to turn Norman into a soldier who kills, so that he will be able to survive the war. Don’s tutelage is much like that of a father with a heavy hand who tries to teach his son a craft, even if it means emotionally damaging him.
Not only does this film have great characters, but it also has eye popping visceral views of warfare in 1940s Germany, depicting wounds and killings during combat that will make even the most strong willed person cringe, and whimper. The battle scenes in this movie are graphic and horrific. You have been warned, but if you watch the Walking Dead, you will be okay. This movie is more of an intimate telling of World War II rather than the sprawling invasion movies of the past. It is tragic, heroic and seemingly accurate recreation of a World War II film. I would like to think my grandfather, who also served as a tanker in World War II would have respected the efforts of the filmmakers to tell the tale of American Tankers in World War II. This film is not a slow moving biography, it is a fast paced movie that will keep you on the edge of your seat and teach you a lesson about the horrors of war and the history of World War II in two and a half hours.