Brad Pitt is back killing Nazis on the big screen in new release Fury, a gritty and grisly look at war through the eyes of a US tank crew
Brad Pitt’s war movie Fury offers a noholds-barred view of warfare which some may find hard to stomach – but its director justifies the gore as straightforward realism.
A stuntman was injured by a bayonet during the making of the film, which includes multiple close-up scenes of slaughter.
“War is violent, it’s all incredibly realistic,” director David Ayer says, adding that a lot of the movie’s scenes are based on military after-action reports.
“The sad truth is that the US military in World War II in Europe executed a lot of prisoners. It was kind of endemic.”
The movie follows a fivestrong Sherman tank crew, led by Pitt as battle-hardened Army Sergeant Wardaddy, pushing behind enemy lines in the dying days of the war in Germany in 1945.
Hollywood A-lister Pitt last led a cinematic Nazi-killing team in Quentin Tarantino’s 2009 Inglorious Basterds and, like that film, Fury includes its fair share of gory SS officer deaths.
The bloodletting starts from the opening scene, when Pitt’s character stabs a German through the eye.
“The movie is about the moral toxicity of war and how that violence impacts what’s effectively this family, this ad hoc family of men trying to survive,” Ayer says.
The director, whose writing credits include 2001’s Oscarwinning Training Day, says history tends to ignore the savagery and randomness of warfare in the narrative of victorious Allies defeating ruthless Nazis.
“Because World War II was such a battle of good versus evil and because the outcome of liberating Europe from slavery is such a positive outcome ... we reverseengineered the fighting itself into some sort of idea (that it) was cleaner or black and white,” he says.
The cast, which includes Michael Pena, Logan Lerman and Jon Berthal, were put through a military-style boot camp run by US Navy Seals before starting the shoot to get them in the right frame of mind.
And while on set, Ayer made Pitt and other actors have fist fights in between takes to build team spirit.
“It bonded us,” LeBeouf says. “You can only get so much out in a conversation.’’