April 1945. The allies fighting deep in the heart of Nazi Germany, encounter the most fanatical resistance yet. In desperation Hitler has declared total war, mobilizing every last man, woman and child. Taking part in this last gasp push against what remains of the Nazi hordes and their empire are the tanks of the American 66th Armoured Regiment, 2nd Armoured Division known to the Germans as ‘Roosevelt’s Butchers’ who had been fighting virtually non stop for a number of years and were now a rag tag bunch with little food and under equipped. On one such tank turret is written Fury (2014) which consists of a five-man team lead by the complex Sgt Don ‘Wardaddy’ Collier (a scar faced Brad Pitt) and includes Technician Fifth Grade Boyd ‘Bible’ Swan (Shia LaBeouf) , Corporal Trini ‘Gordo’ Garcia (Michael Pena) and Private First Class Grady ‘Coon-ass’ Travis (Jon Bernthal).
When the tanks original assistant driver/bow gunner is killed in battle he is replaced by an enlisted office clerk Private Norman ‘Machine’ Ellison (Logan Lerman) who has “trained for 60 words a minute - not to kill people”. The underlying narrative of this electrifying movie is how this innocent young man, who has never seen the inside of a tank nor experienced the ravages of war, copes not only with the extremities of the brutality of war but the cruelties inflicted on him by his compatriots.
The films authenticity is helped by the fact that four veterans of the D Day landings and the Battle of the Bulge, well into there nineties, acted as advisers, having long closed door sessions with the main members of the cast. The cast also had intensive training at a Boot Camp with the US Navy Seals to get them to think and act like military men which also helped bond the men into a working team. A large part of the movie was filmed in England because of the availability of M4 Sherman’s and a Tiger 131 tank only found at the Bovington Tank Museum in Bovington, England.
Its apocalyptic inhuman subject matter is directed and written by David Ayer and succeeds in striking the viewer as being very realistic, portraying an honest look at the best and worst of human kind under conditions that most of us would thankfully never have encountered. The movie is at its best when dealing with the indoctrination of the young recruit as a member of a tank corps and how he is taught to disregard the value of life - including his own. The movie is only spoilt by its gung-ho climax, which although very exciting does not have the political angst of the first half. Not as good as the Russian movie White Tiger (2012) but a very commendable modern war film that’s well worth your time.