Fury – movie Review

Fury is the new World War II action movie Starring Brad Pitt  as a tank commander with the nickname Sergeant War Daddy.  He and his crew are a combat hardened team in a Sherman tank that has seen war from North Africa all the way through to Germany itself in a tank they have named “Fury”.

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One of the crew was recently killed and the tank gets a young recruit (Norman) who has only been in the Army for eight weeks and was trained as a clerk-typist.  The rest of the tank crew hates Norman immediately since one inept crew member can get everyone in the tank killed. Norman is excellently played by Logan Lerman.

The war is supposed to be almost over. The Germans are obviously defeated. Germany itself is being destroyed, but the German government will just not surrender. So the killing continues. For tank crews it is especially dangerous since the German Tiger tank is a far superior machine to the American Shermans.

The battle scenes are exciting, and much of the movie is filmed from the inside of the tank itself.  Brad Pitt is great.

The one problem is that the plot goes in too much for very old Hollywood cliches.  The tank crew is appropriately diverse. There is a Latino, a southern religious guy, a tough crude guy, the rookie and the tough but paternalistic commander. All of these men are stock characters right out of a hundred other World War II movies. The only reason the director did not add an African-American to the crew is because it is well known that the American Army was completely segregated during World War II

The scene that seems the most contrived is the one where Norman meets a young and beautiful German woman (Emma). She is played by   Alicia von Rittberg.  She is lovely with  sparkling clean and brushed hair, a bright new dress and is healthy and well feed.

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She looks great, but for a movie that is supposed to be showing what war really looks like it just seems silly. There was no civilian in all of Germany  who still  looked that beautiful or that clean or that well fed in 1945. A more realistic portrayal of civilian life in Germany at that time is in the autobiographical book A Woman In Berlin, which we have previously  reviewed. In that book the woman stated that all she thought about every second of every day was how to get food and how to stay warm.

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Still, despite its flaws this movie is worth seeing. It is action packed and the tank battles themselves show what it was like to be inside one of those “steel coffins”. They may be stock Hollywood characters, but you do care about what happens to all of them and you do admire them despite their flaws.

Because, after all, some cliches are actually true. Lest we ever forget, there really was a time when very brave men were willing to work together despite their differences and fight or even die for the things they believed in.

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For  a true historic story see Gamal and the Jews- A First Hand Account of When President Nasser Expelled the Jews from Egypt.

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We give this movie Four Stars ****

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