Long-awaited Fury impresses fans

Fury, the World War II drama starring Brad Pitt, Shia Labeouf, and Logan Lerman has been anticipated by film buffs and movie critics alike since its announcement in 2013 and it did not disappoint. 

Movie-goers will welcome this film with open arms as it marks the beginning of an impressive Fall movie season.

This is a movie that requires its audience to emotionally prepare themselves ahead of time. The actor’s brilliant performances combined with a compelling script make you feel the pain of every death, every tear shed, and the disappointment of each losing battle. This film makes you root for these anti-heroes even though one or more deaths are inevitable.

Fury dismisses accusations that the World War II film genre is growing tiresome. The people claiming that are also probably the people who didn’t see the point in studying history in high school. The film’s truth about the senseless loss in war is every bit relevant today as it was in 1944.

Fury focuses on a particular tank called Fury that managed to outlast every other American tank, despite being severely outnumbered and surpassed in technological advances by the Germans. While the story itself may be a fictionalized version, the script was composed actual veteran’s accounts. Making the tank the focal point of the film added another dimension which made for visually stimulating battles, keeping every part of the audience members clenched.

What Fury accomplishes is portraying the burdens of war in a gruesome and gut-wrenching manner with a special effects and makeup department that leaves nothing to the imagination. The same way that Saving Private Ryan did when it won its Best Director Academy Award in 1999. 15 years later, Fury director David Ayers could have a shot at that same title.

Performances from these A-list actors have arguably never been better. After a slew of public missteps, Shia Labeouf reminds us why co-star Brad Pitt called him one of the best actors of he’s ever seen. A Best Supporting Actor nomination would not be unfounded for Labeouf.

Semi-newcomer Logan Lerman, who had previously been seen in young adult hits, The Perks of Being a Wallflower and Percy Jackson:The Lightning Thief, held his own against the incomparable Pitt, who is never more at home than he is in World War II films.

Ayer’s script has his characters walking the lines of moral ambiguity, evident in Pitt’s “Wardaddy” persona. The troubled war hero tries to keep some semblance of honor all the while turning his soldiers into Nazi-killing machines. Machine just so happens to be the nickname given to Lerman’s character as he finally realizes that it is kill or be killed in the midst of war. It’s almost celebratory for the crew when Machine loses his last shred of innocence.

Fury isn’t all gloom and doom though, Michael Pena’s character Gordo delivers some humorous spots in an otherwise dark film, which almost make you feel guilty for chuckling at a war film. But fear not, the chuckles are few and far between in this emotional investment of a movie, which allows the audience to experience it rather than just watch it. 

Fury took in about $23.5 million according to the New York Times, taking the number one spot in its opening weekend and has been reviewed positively by notable critics. The release of Gone Girl about a month prior may have taken some of the burden off of Fury to be the next movie that wowed viewers after what some would call a disappointing summer box-office.

With that in mind, there was still an enormous amount of expectations for this movie to perform well, which it did. Viewers should remember not to put an entire film season’s worth of expectations into this movie and simply enjoy it for what it is. The storyline is strong, the actors are incredible, and Fury is a movie that still manages to shock, sadden, and even make you smile.