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Pitt embodies the Fury of war

Film & TV

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Writer/director David Ayer (End of Watch) holds nothing back in his gritty war drama Fury.

Set in Germany in 1945, the film tells the story of Don “Wardaddy” Collier (Brad Pitt), a revered army sergeant in the Allied Forces tank infantry. While others in the infantry fall victim to the far superior tanks of Hitler’s army, Wardaddy and his crew manage to survive against unimaginable odds and their Sherman tank, “Fury”, is infamous.

As the allies prepare to make their final assault on the German troops, the crew is charged with securing a stretch of road vital to their success – a deadly mission which requires them to cross deep into enemy territory. When their tank is damaged in battle, Wardaddy decides to make one final stand on the isolated back roads of Germany. Outnumbered and outgunned, will he and his crew of just four soldiers be able secure the route for the allied forces or will it turn out to be their final stand?

Pitt delivers a strong performance as the enigmatic Wardaddy, who inspires mixed feelings: he appears to be a stereotypical career soldier whose heart and mind have been hardened by years of battle, but there are also touching scenes of kindness and compassion which reveal a different side to his character.

Wardaddy’s equally clichéd crew – which includes “Bible” (Shia LaBeouf), “Gordo” (Michael Pena) and the extremely unlikable Grady (The Walking Dead’s Jon Bernthal) – share his over-enthusiastic approach to killing, though there is no questioning their loyalty to each other. Young actor Logan Lerman (Noah, The Perks of Being a Wallflower) plays Norman, a rookie soldier who receives a true baptism of fire under Wardaddy’s command, while Adelaide’s Xavier Samuel (Healing, The Twilight Saga) stars as Lieutenant Parker.

Despite its themes, Fury does little to glorify war; rather, Ayer combines impressive displays of artillery with confronting scenes of gore to create a shockingly realistic portrayal of life on the frontline. The film features tanks actually used in World War II, including the starkly different Tiger 131 (German) and Sherman Fury M4A2 (American).

With its blood-soaked action sequences, Fury is not for the faint-hearted. As Wardaddy says: “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent”.

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