Breaking Brad: Fury and the horrors of war

Brad Pitt’s newest movie has us anticipating this upcoming war film

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Brad Pitt plays Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier (centre), with Logan Lerman as Norman Ellison (behind, centre) and Shia LaBeouf as Boyd Swan (behind, left)

Out of Fury’s many reviews on Rotten Tomatoes, almost all have something to say about how brutal it is. Some agree that it’s an accurate depiction of war, while others insist that it wasn’t cinematic enough. Except for one naysayer who was convinced that Fury was “disappointingly bland”. Well, his tolerance for war and violence might be bordering on psychopathic.

That’s because the other reviews settle on one common sentiment: this movie cannot just be watched – it must be endured. And with the short glimpses of the story that we’ve gotten, I can only agree and nod in shocked silence.

Outgunned and out-armoured

The movie shows an American tank crew – called “Fury” – thrust into the enemy’s frontlines during World War II.

Brad Pitt plays hardened sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collier, who must deal with the fact that his new private Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) is more trained for typewriting than battling and surviving.

And it doesn’t help matters that the Nazis’ fortified Leopard and Tiger tanks are chewing up the American Sherman tanks like canned tuna.

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The movie is riddled with explosions, gunshots, and screams of terror

Joining the crew is Shia LaBeouf as Boyd Swan, the religious gunner; Jon Bernthal as loader Grady Travis; and Michael Pena as driver Trini Garcia.

Oh, the horror

The sterling cast brings to light the true trauma of participating in war, and Pitt’s performance is just the tip of the iceberg.

He opens the film with a visceral kill, and Fury doesn’t give you a moment’s relief from the disgusting scene. Even during the clean-up, the viewer is treated to a nice close-up of bodily remains.

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Wardaddy (left) puts Private Ellison through gruesome tests of courage and survival

Lerman’s wide-eyed and slack-jawed expression is a perfect fit for his role as Norman, a sheltered private who is forced into a nightmare world of kill-or-be-killed in the battlefield.

And at the heart of this movie lies the paradox that defines war. I won’t give away too much, but it reveals a treacherous reality that we don’t always get to see on the silver screen.

Glorious basterds

Many of us would be inclined to compare Pitt in Fury to his similar role of Lt Aldo Raine in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds. Like the 2009 war fantasy film, Fury is all counts of violent, bloody, noisy, and emotional.

But unlike Lt Aldo Raine, Fury’s Wardaddy has no time for jokes and macho smirks. Rather, Pitt’s squint-eyed gaze and stout square features become an arsenal for channelling a sombre, stern, and damaged air.

If you’re not sure whether you can stomach the grittiness, you can decide after watching the trailer:

Fury [NC16]

Director: David Ayer Starring: Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña Genre: War, Action Run Length: 134 min Release: 23 Oct

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