Fury is set in World War II and follows the story of Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a young writer who's forced into joining a squad of soldiers preparing to venture out into the heart of Germany. This squad is led by Don 'Wardaddy' Collier (Brad Pitt), a relentless nazi hater who understands what it takes to win a war. When out in the battlefield, the crew of Fury, the tank they ride in and consider home, they're faced against soldier after soldier, each situation containing unlikely odds of survival.
Fury is a brutal, grim and violent tale of war, and one that's painfully honest too. I love a good war film, I will watch any one, although I would literally watch any movie you request me to watch. My second favourite movie of all time is currently Saving Private Ryan, which I watched when I was way too young and I turned it off after the opening battle sequence, but I'm getting away from the point. Fury is the second war movie we've got this year, or at least the second one I have recollection of. Fury and Lone Survivor are completely different films, despite both being about tragic war stories. Lone Survivor is a true story and so the impact is on a much more emotional level, whereas Fury is fictitious, but more entertaining. Fury isn't quite as sweat inducing as Lone Survivor, but it's undeniably a better made movie. It gives us a realistic look a war, showing us the good, the bad and the uneventful, but never coming across as uninteresting. Unappealing? Sure, but always interesting.
Fury is led by a group of excellent performances. Brad Pitt is, well, Brad Pitt. Who doesn't love Brad Pitt? He's good in essentially every movie he's in, even if the film's fairly bland. Shia LaBeouf, putting aside his real life personality issues, has had a good year of films this year, starring in this and both volumes of Nymphomaniac. I've never really been the biggest LaBeouf supporter, but it's hard to deny his quality of performances in the past 10 months. Logan Lerman, who's our lead, gives one of his best performances yet. I don't think it's up there with the quality of his performance in Perks of Being a Wallflower, but it sure does get close. Again, no complains with him. I don't actually have any complains about the performances in this movie.
Jon Bernthal's character in this film is incredibly unlikable, but this wouldn't be the case if it weren't for his superficially brilliant performance. His character is just a complete asshole, rarely ever showing signs of likability. If he were miscast and played by a different actor then the character would still come across as a prune, but it just wouldn't be quite as believable. His dickyness is somewhat enjoyable at times too, pushing the characters beyond their thresholds and into madness.
It's really quite shocking to see the transformations that Logan Lerman's character goes through during this movie. In fact, it isn't just Logan Lerman's character that undergoes change, they all do. Fury is genius when it comes to exploiting the pointlessness of war and the consequences that come with it. It's enough to change people for the rest of their lives. There's a scene towards the start of the movie where Brad Pitt's character forces Logan Lerman's character to kill an enemy soldier, which is something that is against his conscience. This scene is startling to watch, showing just what these soldiers need to do to survive.
When reading/watching the several reviews that I did for this film, the most common complaint was that the film takes an abrupt halt in the middle. While it does take a halt for quite some time, I don't see it as a slow or unnecessary aspect of the overall story. Sure, it takes up a reasonable portion of the film, but it doesn't feel long. It feels like it belongs there and it has a good reason to. It's a moment of character building, as well as a moment where we're allowed to take a breather before we're thrown back into scenes of limb exploding battles.
If this is David Ayer's apology for making the monstrosity that was Sabotage, well, then it's an apology that I'm more than willing to accept. David Ayer not only directed one of the worst films of 2014, but he directed one of the worst films of all time. They're the same film by the way. Fury is a far better film than Sabotage. It does everything better. It's got better performances, a coherent script, good direction, meaningful violence and a lot more. It's got me, like many other superhero fans, more excited for the Suicide Squad movie knowing that it's in good hands. Let's hope it's more of a Fury than it is a Sabotage.
To sum up, Fury may not have the emotional impact of this year's Lone Survivor, but it's certainly a better made movie. The performances are all excellent, creating characters that are believable, and the scenarios these characters get themselves into feel intense, brutal and honest. Fury is just an all round enjoyable flick.