There have been 204 movies made about World War II, according to ranker.com, which claims to have counted them all. The war may not have been a good experience for the Nazis but it’s proven quite profitable for Hollywood.
The latest to join the ranks is “Fury,” a movie about a five-man tank crew making its way across Germany as the war nears its end. It’s an often violent, sometimes odd film that paints a bloody picture of war and the toll it takes on the men who fight it.
Brad Pitt stars as U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Don “Wardaddy” Collie. He’s been killing Nazis with his crew — Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf ), Trini “Gordo” Garcia (Michael Peña) and Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal) — since the Africa campaign and now they’re on their way to Berlin in their Sherman tank named Fury.
The film opens shortly after the death of Wardaddy’s fifth crew member. His replacement is Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a young clerk/typist who would rather die than shoot another human being. Needless to say, Norman changes his tune after a few days on the front lines.
It’s April 1945 and while the Nazis are down to drafting women and children, they’re not giving up the fight just yet. Wardaddy is one of four tank commanders rolling through the German countryside.
It’s fairly standard war-movie stuff until the crew stops to rest in a small town. Wardaddy takes Norman into a house where they find two women. He has the older woman fix them a meal while suggesting Norman take the younger one into the bedroom. The rest of the crew show up drunk and rowdy as the others are about to eat dinner. It’s the most awkward, uncomfortable dinner scene since “August: Osage County.”
Eventually the boys get back on the battlefield where they have a run-in with a more advanced German tank and later get into a “300”-style last stand against overwhelming odds.
Written and directed by David Ayer, “Fury” features solid acting by its cast, gripping war scenes, stark imagery and a bloody, no-holds-barred final battle sequence. Not sure where it would rank in the 204 movies about the second world war, but probably somewhere in the top 100.