The Second World War is coming to a close and a squad of American troops continues its assault through the European theatre. Having survived a long string of battles and losing only one of his tank operators, Sergeant Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier readies his troops for the next leg of their journey. While still at base camp, Don is informed that he must take on a new member to his team, a young typing clerk named Norman. While not initially welcomed into the team, Norman ends up operating one of the front machine guns and serving as a lookout from his post. While they end up in a tank battle, Norman freezes under pressure and gets punished for it. Following the fight, they press forward to a nearby town to take refuge before finding out that a US supply base is in trouble.
Review: With a flurry of different war movies out there projecting the drama and tragedy of World War II, Fury focused more directly on a single storyline of conflict with the conclusion being surrounded by insurmountable odds and no way out. The cast was led by Brad Pitt (Don Collier), Shia LaBeouf (Boyd Swan), Logan Lerman (Norman Ellison), Michael Pena (Trini Garcia), and Jon Bernthal (Grady Travis). For Pitt, it was clear that he had his time with Inglorious Basterds to help him prepare for additional war films, but this was a bit of a grittier role. The characters seemed to be a strange fluctuation between wartime focus, unnecessary aggression, and odd acceptance. The overall tone and the character dynamics made it tougher to connect with the cast in these roles.
The story itself was a rather remarkable one. While the actual storytelling was a bit imbalanced, the survival for Norman was captivating. Ending up with a unit after having only minimal combat training, he found himself in the mix of several firefights, including the final battle against nearly 300 opposing Nazi soldiers. Sergeant Collier forced Norman to grow stronger through each experience of war, even forcing him to kill a Nazi soldier to finally break through that barrier. This prepared Norman for the final conflict and brought him just enough of the confidence needed to try to survive.
While the film has some interesting moments of conflict and personal growth, David Ayer fell a little short on being able to create a connection with the characters.
Dan’s Rating: 3.0/5