Written and directed by David Ayer, Fury takes place during April 1945 as the Allies make their final push into Germany, focusing on a Sherman tank who’s crew have been together since the North African Campaign. Having recently lost their assistant driver (the only loss they have sustained during the war) a recently enlisted typist is assigned to them. The crew consists of Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), Commander, Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña), driver, Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf), gunner and Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal), loader. Initially they do not like Norman (Logan Lerman) as their replacement to the man they came to love, due to his lack of experience and unwillingness to kill the Germans because of his insistence that he is a typist and should not be there. Wardaddy forces Norman to kill a German captive and break his innocence. Throughout the film the audience can see the progression of this young man, realising that everybody started out the same, and in the theatre of war it is kill or be killed. Fury takes on a very similar style to that of one of Ayer’s previous films, End of Watch (2012), in which the focus of the film is not only on the war but also on the personal relationships of crew. The film becomes much more of emotional journey through the emphasis on relationships, not only within the crew but also with the people they encounter throughout their campaign, rather than it just being your typical explosions and gunfire war film. The audience witness how war effects everybody in different ways, showing different effects it has on all the members of the crew, but can be critised by showing five obvious archetypes in the five different crew members. Fury displays perfect war cinema placing the audience on the front line in the war with no holds barred. The gritty action is wonderfully parallel by characters that you can’t help be drawn to.
Logan Lerman provides a character that the audience are immediately sympathetic towards, a young boy convinced he is in the wrong place and unwilling to kill, making him relatable to the audience. Throughout the film an obvious change can be seen in his character, an acceptance that things must be in done in order for him to survive and to not jeopardise the lives of the crew he is now with. Lerman plays the character immaculately and is a strong and striking lead, portraying a character unlike we are used to seeing in war films. Pitt provides the classic commander role, an uncompromising man, but faltering behind the scenes. The character he portrays is multidimensional and a pleasure to watch, a truly memorable performance. Fury is a more serious portrayal of Nazi Germany than Pitts previous escapades in Inglourious Basterds (2009, Tarantino), and he has adapted well, providing a grizzly and strong leader. In certain scenes he shows his humanity; taking Norman under his wing, accepting that he isn’t as strong as the other members of the crew and guiding him through the war.
Fury displays a war in which action can break out at any turn, but also the strange quiet periods and tension brought with them. Fury could be described as a coming of age story, with love, friendship, hardship and fear. Ayer’s story highlights how war isn’t just about fighting and killing, but primarily about people and the bonds that are created. The characters create and highlight these bonds on screen for all to see, and in the process, make a film that is action packed and emotion filled.