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In April 1945, the Allies are making their final push in the European theater. A battle-hardened Army sergeant named Don 'Wardaddy' Collier (Brad Pitt), leading a Sherman tank and a five-man crew, undertakes a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Hopelessly outnumbered, outgunned and saddled with an inexperienced soldier (Logan Lerman) in their midst, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds as they move to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
Don 'Wardaddy' Collier.
Boyd 'Bible' Swan.
Trini Gordo Garcia.
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April, 1945. As the Allies make their final push in the European Theatre, a battle-hardened army sergeant named Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) commands a Sherman tank and her five-man crew on a deadly mission behind enemy lines. Outnumbered and outgunned, and with a rookie soldier thrust into their platoon, Wardaddy and his men face overwhelming odds in their heroic attempts to strike at the heart of Nazi Germany.
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The movie has an actual Tiger I tank, the last remaining operating one in the world. The equipment used by both sides looks quite authentic. As a combat vet I can attest that the depictions of combat scenes are quite accurate! I found myself ducking when I saw the tracer rounds on the big screen; the camera work is superior.
As a side note, the Sherman tanks depicted were in fact quite vulnerable to enemy fire and this is also depicted in the story line. We should remember this side note when we talk about equipping our military today and in the future.
In the end I was quite moved by this story and felt a profound sense of sorrow for those who endured this horrific war as well as my eternal gratitude to those who fought so bravely and defeated the Axis.
Fighting that Tiger tank showed what normally happened. American tanks were truly mismatched, and the General Staff knew it. Essentially, they threw tank crews at the Germans and they were slaughtered. American close air support and tank destroyers made the difference. The Sherman tank was a real disaster when facing German high velocity tank Cannon. They used gasoline instead of diesel. Fury shows what happened.
I'm an armchair historian. I appreciate the accuracy of this movie. There weren't any heroes. That type of person was killed earlier in the war. Like War Daddy said.....This thing will be over when we get thru killing them.
Having said all of that, in real life Norm would have been shot. Those combat vets were extremely brutal. That's the only reason why they were still alive. That's what a real vet won't tell you. If a man can't hold up his end, he is a weak link that gets cut. Like I was told, soldiers were told they had to feed their prisoners from their own rations. So, really, the best a German soldier could hope for was that officers saw the surrender. Otherwise, what happened to that German soldier wasn't rare at all.
This isn't a movie for delicate snowflakes. There's no Justice on a battlefield.
As to whether or not the movie was realistic, right now I’m reading, “Death Traps; the survival of an armored division in WWII”. This book was written by, Belton Cooper. He was one of the men whose job it was to recover and repair damaged tanks from the battlefields during WWII (Europe). His unit also provided what passed for the very brief training that was offered to tank replacements toward the end of the war. He describes exactly the things that were depicted in the movie. “Fury” was fortunate to even have had a five man crew by the last month of the war. Belton describes what really happened; such a shortage of trained crews that some tanks were being operated with three man crews; commander/”loader”, gunner, and driver (NO assistant gunner/loader or hull machine gunner). Untrained replacements, the likes of the film’s “Norman” character, were very common to encounter. It was not at all unheard of for green tankers and their tanks to be destroyed on their way from the forward maintenance depot to their unit assembly areas. The Germans were operating under even worse handicaps regarding the shortage of trained tank crews (not to mention the extreme shortage of tanks).
Similar to a scene in the movie, Belton even describes an occasion when an officer called for volunteers to recover the bodies (the pieces), and to clean up, the interior of a tank whose dead crew had been traumatically dismembered by enemy fire.
Indeed, the film makers were pretty meticulous about realism, holding a lengthy closed door meeting between the cast and actual 80+ year old veterans of tank warfare; Europe WWII.
People who claim that this movie is not realistic are simply not correct in that assessment. There are still plenty of living eyewitnesses who will testify to the contrary.
The cast themselves are a pleasure to watch. Jon Bernthal is perfectly cast as “Coon Ass”. Bernthal (The Walking Dead) is almost unparalleled when it comes to portraying the morally ambivalent character type; the deeply flawed, not likeable, but not totally irredeemable character. Pitt does his usual excellent job. Lerman, Lebeouf and Pena are terrific as well.
My only “complaint” with the movie is with the ending. The climactic battle is “Hollywood”; over the top, filled with flaws regarding the actual tactics an infantry unit would use in order to destroy an enemy tank, filled with flaws regarding the actual capabilities a lone tank would have in meeting such a threat and…..not very believable. But the worst part is that this movie would have been excellent with a more believable and accurate ending; nothing would have been sacrificed. In other words, it was unnecessary to go where this story went and a better movie would have resulted if they hadn’t. And the final result would still have been the same!
But hey, it’s a movie.
There have been many, many war movies; many of them NOT very good. Where does “Fury” rank? That is endlessly debatable, for sure, but I would place it up there with the best ones; “Das Boot”, the serial, “Band of Brothers”, “Saving Private Ryan”, “The Dirty Dozen”.
“Fury is an interesting look at WWII from a specific point of view, that of an American Sherman tank crew. Enjoy it for what it is and don’t let its flaws ruin a movie experience that has much to recommend it. I give "Fury" five stars.