Pitt and company fighting like ‘Fury’
Claustrophobic submarine thrillers like “Das Boot,” “Run Silent, Run Deep” and “The Enemy Within” strap viewers inside a metal ship afraid to breathe. So you would think that five men inside a tank would burst the compression meter. No, instead, “Fury” director David Ayer (“Training Day,” “End of Watch”) turns the armored vehicle into a mechanized, up-close and personal muddied and bloodied foot soldier in the waning days of World War II. Translation: You will see blood and body parts.
Brad Pitt (Wardaddy), a battle hardened fighter shoves the crew of the metal vehicle treading toward the symbolic River Styx. Pitt’s newbie driver (“I was trained for 60 words per minute”) Norman (Logan Lerman), who played Ham in “Noah,” grows stubbornly into a soldier with less and less morality and greater kill-to-stay-alive instincts.
Interestingly, Wardaddy himself has an inner line in the sand. He’s rough yet protective of the two civilians his team finds in a structure. Alicia von Rittberg (Emma) and Anamaria Marinca (Imma) sit just south of trembling as Wardaddy and Norman survey their dwelling. It’s a suspenseful game as the four eventually bond, though there’s a choice Norman will make for himself. For that matter, the harsh sergeant has a few rules, too, such as thou shalt not disrupt a home cooked lunch.
Inserted against a mountain of brutal battle sequences, the moments of a degree of normalcy tell more about the inner persona of the crew than when shuttling ammo and completing “orders.”
It mounts a quandary too by humanizing two German civilians as empathy worthy collateral damage of Hitler’s brutal cranium.
“Fury” – the aptly named tank and second home for the soldiers – rolls nearly invulnerable over the wasted, shielding its occupants from bullets but forcing them to dwell on the remains that lie on the battlefield. Call it a metallic shield marching through Normandy, rampant butchery imprinting the facial expressions of the fallen forever in the crew’s memory. Some deal with their horrors through alcohol, others spout toughness, and still another begs to die.
As a viewer, you will be glued to the drama of facing life and death from the confines of the tank. You are an occupant. Would you signal go forward like Pitt or do your coping skills want out of the confinement, no matter what the risk?