Reel Reviews: Fury rides into horrors of war

Fury, the latest Second World War film, starring Brad Pitt, is an effective enough film, but hard to watch.

  • Oct. 24, 2014 8:00 p.m.

Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) has been commanding the same five-man tank crew for years, since Africa.

Now in Germany, nearing the end of the Second World War, he has lost his machine gunner and the army sends him a rookie clerk as a replacement. Green, terrified and still morally sane, the young gunner must come to terms with his environment and become a killing machine, if he’s to do his job and survive the war.

Within a few days, the crew of the tank, known as Fury, will face their ultimate test.

We say, “Fury is an effective enough film, but hard to watch.”

TAYLOR: Every once in a while, a hard to watch film comes along. Usually, they are awful tales of awful deeds. The Passion of the Christ, Sid & Nancy and more recently 12 Years a Slave come to mind.

Fury is hard to watch because war is awful and turns men into monsters. If there is to be a moral gleaned from this film, we already know it.

Unfortunately, Fury is light on message and heavy on killing. This would be fine if the filmmakers had simply left it as a film that let the atrocities do the talking. Instead, they tried to have Brad Pitt enlighten the young machine gunner of the philosophies of war.

Of course none of these asides seem relevant or intelligent, because war is stupid. Perhaps this was exactly the point: these men are being driven to insanity by a ridiculous and counterproductive endeavour. However, this aspect of the story, while apparent, ends up playing second fiddle to what amounts to a first person point of view shoot ‘em up. So Fury becomes a shallow film that wants to be deeper than it is.

HOWE: Hard to watch is bit of an understatement if you ask me. The special effects used in Fury are so realistic that it sent a chill through me knowing what man, woman or child is capable of  doing to each other. Even though the movie is just over the two hour mark, it went by pretty quickly. The only down side I found was that it only touched very slightly on the relationships of the tank personal and relied more on the gruesome acts of war.

TAYLOR: War… ugh! Good God! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing…

HOWE:  There’s a lot of talk of this being Shia Labeouf’s comeback role. (I think he has been wandering about aimlessly in his last few movies.) He does a fine job in this as the southern Bible preaching gunner.

Brad Pitt took on where he left off with his war acting role from Inglorious Basterds, the only thing missing was his ‘stash.

But the star for me has to be young machine gunner Norman (Logan Lerman). After his character’s initial baptism into the war, I thought Lerman grew into his role very well, giving his character more emotional depth.

TAYLOR: Fury is an ugly movie, about ugly men doing ugly things. I wish the filmmakers had done a better job at defining what they meant their film to be. That ugliness appears to be the only accurate thing about this film. If you’re rooting for that ugliness, there’s something wrong with you. However, it didn’t bore or offend me, so it gets a pass.

– Howe gives Fury 3 eggs out of 5.

– Taylor gives it 2.5 stained foxholes out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.

– Peter Howe and Brian Taylor are film reviewers based in Vernon, B.C.