Guns’ Guide to Movies: Fury

“Ideals are peaceful, history is violent.”

Brad Pitt says this about an hour into the already intensely violent Fury, leaving us to wonder why it even needed to be spoken at all. Director David Ayer firmly believes this statement, and takes two hours and fifteen minutes to prove it. Set in the last month before Germany’s surrender in 1945, Fury follows the five men who inhabit a World War II tank nicknamed Fury. Don “Wardaddy” (Brad Pitt), the unquestioned leader of the group, along with “Bible” (Shia LeBeuf), “Gordo” (Michael Peña), “Coon-Ass” (Jon Bernthal), and Norman (Logan Lerman). With the exception of new recruit Norman, the war has taken almost everything from these men. They have seen things they never could have imagined.fury-header Norman joins the Fury team as their new assistant driver after the last man in the position is killed. He is young, inexperienced, and not at all prepared for the horrors of war. As the tank and its crew push through Germany relentlessly taking town after town, Norman becomes hardened by what he sees as well as what he finds out he is capable of doing. He is soon adopted into the crew and becomes as devout a follower of Wardaddy as any of the other men. The crew eventually finds themselves in a dire situation in enemy territory when Fury breaks down right in the path of an oncoming force of 300 SS soldiers. Vastly outnumbered and outgunned, the five men decide to stay and fight the Nazi troops.

Wardaddy says that “History is violent.” Yes. Yes it is. Saving Private Ryan reminded us of that and set the precedent for virtually all war movies that followed it. Fury is undeniably well made. Its characters are interesting to watch and the portrayal of war holds nothing back. But it fails to add much of anything to the genre of the war movie. There is nothing new here. It lacks any form of subtlety and has some problems with logic in the story. Characters at times don’t act or develop in a realistic way, and some events are simply too unrealistic to sustain the audience’s suspension of disbelief.



I tried to find some kind of poetic meaning or message to leave this film with, but every time I thought I had something it would not completely connect. I thought that maybe the dichotomy between Don and Norman would expand into a theme about men’s loss of innocence and dehumanization in war, or the futility of war itself. Neither of these ideas had quite enough support by the end of the movie. You can try to attach any kind of meaning you want to this film, but at the end of the day it seems that the real theme here is pure, unadulterated violence. A simple good versus evil, us versus them narrative punctuated with some memorable performances and extra loud gun shots designed to make you jump a little. You might walk away with a feeling of “what’s the point of it all?”. Whether or not that was the director’s intention, perhaps that existential question is what a war movie should make us think about.

  • Rating: 3 out of 5 stars