Fury is a different kind of war film. Though it does tell a story about a group of exceptional war heroes and their final, fatal act of unique heroism, it also reveals the psychological trauma that is inescapable in such a ruthless, brutal, relentless atmosphere.
American war films are generally split between the heroism of World War II, a war that was necessary and ultimately successful despite the horror that comes with all war, and the corruption and the psychological mess that was the Vietnam War. This film seems to cleverly combine the two, going deeper than the heroism of a necessary evil, and explores the terrible trauma that comes from all situations where in order for victory and to keep yourself alive, you must kill others no matter who they are or how many family members they have. It tells the story using an experienced group of soldiers who have been fighting together for years – and a newbie.
Here lies one of the most interesting and moving parts of this film. Furystarts in the last year of the war, when things were staring to get desperate on both sides. Hitler was demanding that everyone, even women and children, joined the fighting, and the allies were employing any untrained men to fight. Norman (very unsubtly named to indicate that he is a normal member of the public) in this case is a trained typist, pretty much the safest job in the war. He represents ideals, stability, family values and what is right and wrong in a civilised society. But these are all things that can be fatal in a wartime environment, so it is the job of the soldiers to crush this. This provides a fascinating yet deeply troubling outlook on war, that civilisations ceases to exist during such a time, and devolution into bestiality and survival of the fittest must take over all soldiers in order to succeed.
Fury highlights the tragic irony that in order to get back to civilisation, one must be as uncivilised as possible. Director David Ayer decided this was an important message to convey, and he could not be more right. The suburb acting from the whole cast is what makes this message so strong and moving, most especially Norman’s (Logan Lerman) observable devolution.
Fury is released nationwide on 22nd October 2014.
Watch the trailer for Fury here: