Director: David Ayer
Cast: Brad Pitt, Logan Lerman, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Pena, Jon Bernthal
Plot: Nearing the end of WW2, an American tank operated by five men make their final push into Germany.
Review: I wouldn't blame you if you watched Fury and thought it resembles Saving Private Ryan. It does in several ways, being set in WW2, featuring soldiers going into enemy territory, sent on a suicide mission and outnumbered by the Germans. But while Spielberg's epic is visually striking and tragically unrelenting, Fury manages to be just as good with a healthy does of intensity and drama.
Writer-director David Ayer presents a WW2 film about the crew of a Allied Sherman tank sent into Germany in 1945 on a suicide mission. The crew, led by Sgt Collier, has just received a rookie driver who hasn't seen the inside of a tank, much less been in a real fight, to join them. The audience watches mostly through the rookie Norman's perspective as they get into one scrape after another, and just like Upham in Saving Private Ryan, Norman eventually learns how to defend himself, right up to the battle to the death in the film's climax.
Ayer, who has never shied away from violence and profanity in his films, does so again here with great aplomb, and it always works. The battle scenes are rightfully intense and brutal, as we see soldiers getting shot, burnt, blown up and run over throughout the film. It's war and war is always ugly, so kudos to Ayer for nailing that.
The five actors playing the tank crew are all awesome in their performances, hell even Shia LaBeouf, who has been notorious in either getting flak for being Sam Witwicky or getting bad press for his public behaviour recently, does well. But I have to say, unsurprisingly the best actor here is Brad Pitt as the leader of the crew. He knows just when to be intense and when to pull back when necessary, and overall gives a sterling portrayal of a tank commander who wants to protect his men and finish the mission at any cost. Logan Lerman is also great as the rookie Norman, who slowly changes from a boy who refuses to kill, to a man who becomes so angry at the enemy and is willing to put them down. Credit also goes to Michael Pena and Jon Bernthal for their performances as well, even though their characters aren't so different from what we've seen them do before.
I am bothered a bit though by a certain scene in the middle of the film when Pitt and Lerman show up at a German town and visit a couple of ladies who are initially frightened but then warm up to them. Now, I don't have a problem with Ayer trying to show us that not all Germans are bad at the time, but the way it happened was a tad too quick.
Overall, Fury is a solid war film that hits most of the right notes, thanks mostly to the cast's fine performances. (8/10)