Movie Review: Fury


Wasn’t there a time when every film starring Brad Pitt would be released with a lot of fanfare and media coverage? Nowadays it seems like only one out of every handful of his movies gets any type of publicity.

In fact, his perfect appearance on Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns” earlier this week got a lot more buzz than anything else he’s done recently (And I highly recommend watching that five-minute skit. You won’t be disappointed).

I almost forgot there was a new movie featuring Mr. Jolie out in the theaters when I stumbled upon Fury the other day.

And good thing I found it. What a cool little World War II flick this is!

It’s simple, focused, uncomplicated and limited to just a few main characters. I suppose most WWII movies have a pretty narrow scope. You can’t really tackle the entire war in a two-hour film.

Fury focuses on the end of the war, when the Americans are marching on Germany. The story follows a tank and its crew, led by Pitt’s Staff Sergeant “Wardaddy”, as they try to hold off the Germans at a critical crossing where the Allies are moving their supplies.

More important than the step-by-step plot is the men inside the tank. Five soldiers with differing levels of experience, four of whom have been together in this tank (named “Fury” by the way) since the war began.

The fifth guy? That’s where all the drama comes from. His name is Norman Ellison, and he’s the baby-faced war virgin (and possibly sexual virgin) who recently enrolled in the army to be a typist, not a driver of a tank, and certainly not a combat soldier. But he’s thrust into this situation, and as you’d expect, he’s immediately in over his head. He’s never been in combat, never killed a man, and doesn’t seem like he belongs in any way.

His “orientation” happens as Fury leaves an Ally base and moves into hostile territory. Bonds among men are formed, lives are lost and very cool war battles are fought. This is not a war movie that has the typical slowness to it. These guys are in danger the entire time, and the movie makes sure we feel that suspense and anxiousness throughout.

You should see this movie if: You love war movies, especially WWII stories; you worship Brad Pitt and all that he does; you like watching two hours of film where there’s a ton of action and only a little character development; you like cool battle scenes; you like your movies as gritty and grim as possible.

You should not see this movie if: Graphic images, specifically dead bodies and severely injured body parts, make you sick; you’re simply not a fan of war movies; you like your films to have female actresses with significant roles; you require the happiest of happy endings; you like those movies that have tons of character development and backstory; you only like comedies.

On the Ross Watchability Scale (RWS), I’m giving Fury a solid 6.5 out of 10. I’m not the world’s biggest war movie fan so it would be tough for me to put anything in this genre much higher than a 7 or 8 anyway. If you read my review from earlier this week on Gone Girl, then you know which of these two films I’d recommend you see in the theater this weekend.