Writer/director David Ayer’s “Fury,” a World War II drama, is a force to behold, with one of Brad Pitt’s finest performances.
The movie is set in April of 1945 and the war is coming to an end, but this is no gradual winding down. Instead, it’s a tooth and nail fight, a savage final struggle to defeat the Nazis on the European front. Pitt plays an army sergeant nicknamed Wardaddy who commands a Sherman tank and a crew of men.
Boyd (Shia LaBeouf) clings steadfastly to religion to get him through. Jon Bernthal’s Coon and Michael Peña’s Gordo gave up hope a long time ago. Logan Lerman, as a new addition named Norman, shows us a heart-wrenching evolution from paper-pusher to Nazi-slayer.
The soldiers hold their own for a while but, as they push through enemy lines, it becomes frighteningly clear that they are far outnumbered by the Germans.
Pitt melds fierce intensity and psychological battle scars with layers of mystery, dignity and reserve. The rest of the cast (including Anamaria Marinca and Alicia von Rittberg as German women the men encounter) match him, beat for beat, thanks to assured and nuanced direction from Ayer.
‘Fury’ can be hard to watch at times – it’s gory and graphic from the start – but war is hell, remember. And this is one hell of a story.
“Fury” opens in theaters today.