The movie has been out for about a month now, but it's definitely worth a review (so be warned, SPOILERS AHEAD). For those that haven't heard, Fury is a film starring Brad Pitt, Shia LeBeouf, Jon Bernthal, Michael Pena and Logan Lerman. It centers around a new recruit (Lerman) who is conscripted into the crew of Fury, a late model Sherman tank commanded by SSgt "Wardaddy" Collier, in the closing weeks of World War II in Europe. I was somewhat apprehensive going into this film, afraid that it might be another cheap war movie- perhaps even as bad as "Red Tails", a movie for which I am still cursing the name of George Lucas. I was pleasantly surprised to find that "Fury" turned out to be a well-performed, gritty, and accurate war film.
First off, there is the tanks. Fury is not the first movie to have had Shermans in it, but I can't recall ever seeing a movie with such a diverse group of Shermans. In Fury's platoon alone there were three different variants, from early model cast-hull with a short-barreled 75mm gun to Fury itself, an M4A3E8, the last production Sherman. Then, of course, there is the Tiger. For the first time since the end of the war, a real Tiger I, tank number 131 from the Bovington Tank Museum, was used in a film. It doesn't get too much time on screen, but the segment where it appears is alone worth seeing the movie.
The M4A3E8 Sherman used as "Fury" in the film, owned by the Bovington Tank Museum
Tiger 131, the only operational Tiger tank in the world, was used in the film. It is also owned by the Bovington Museum.
In addition to the very real tanks in the movie, the film's story tries to be as accurate a portrayal of the horrors of life as a tanker in the war as possible. Much of the film is spent in the confines of Fury, where the audience can gain a sense of the dirty, cramped and dangerous space on the inside of a tank. We also see the actors performing as a close-knit tank crew, which is not altogether surprising considering that the five main cast went through a rigorous boot camp prior to the film which, among other things, forced them to live inside the tank. The actions that the characters take are not unbelievable either. "Wardaddy" was apparently modeled off of SSgt. Lafayette G. Pool, an American tanker who destroyed over 250 vehicles and 12 tanks before he was wounded in late 1944. The last stand of the tank crew is also reminiscent of Lt. Audie Murphy's lone stand against a German tank attack supported by infantry outside of Holtzwihr in January 1945.
Overall, I was impressed with the movie. Its a fresh look at the horrors of war as experienced by a tank crew during the closing days of the war. The story is well-written, the actors do an excellent job of portraying a veteran group of tankers, and the tanks are very authentic. I would definitely recommend this movie to anyone interested in World War II history.