Brad Pitt takes on the World War II genre yet again but this time with a film that’s more serious in tone. Inglourious Basterds was a fun Tarantino ride that received a Best Picture nomination but Fury (rated R) feels more like what you’d expect from an Oscar nominee. Could Fury be nominated for a Best Picture award? Possibly. I definitely think it’s worthy of one. Brad Pitt could possibly see his next Best Actor nomination (his last being 2011’s Moneyball). Pitt’s been nominated three times for acting and twice as a producer, winning last year’s Oscar for Best Picture for 12 Years a Slave.
Fury follows a group of five men who all operate an American tank which they’ve nicknamed (or codenamed) Fury. Their newest member is Norman (Logan Lerman), a young man who’s never seen battle and has only been in the army eight weeks. Pitt plays their leader Don, nicknamed “Wardaddy”, Shia Labeouf is “Bible”, Michael Pena is “Gordo” and Jon Bernthal is “Coon-Ass”. They’ve all been together for years and are a little unnerved by their newest (and by far, youngest) member. When Norman’s hesitation to shoot the enemy puts the lives of his men in danger, Don is quick to teach him a lesson.
The tank and it’s crew make it’s way through Germany and we see battle after horrific battle. There is one particularly tense scene involving Fury battling a German tank.
The film’s characters are rich and the acting is superb. Pitt is at his finest with this role and LaBeouf is the best I’ve ever seen him. Bernthal plays his character somewhat over the top, but I can’t help but think it was written that way. His character is a redneck southerner sociopath who, at times, is hard to root for.
David Ayer’s direction is also the best I’ve seen of his so far. The visuals are grim and dark. Often the German soldiers’ faces are in shadow or hidden behind masks, giving the enemy a less-than human appearance.
Fury is a great character piece with solid acting and intense action sequences that place it near the top of the year’s best list.
I give it an A-