War movie paints re­al­is­tic pic­ture of com­bat

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - ENTERTAINMENT - RAN­DALL KING

DI­REC­TOR David Ayer’s Sec­ond World War film Fury takes its ti­tle from crew’s pet name for their Sher­man tank, the word painted on its prom­i­nent 75mm gun. But it also refers to the force that drives the crew, es­pe­cially Sgt. Don Col­lier (Brad Pitt), a guy who has lived in the tank from the Al­lies cam­paign in North Africa all the way to Ger­many in the last month of the Euro­pean con­flict in April 1945. A lot of blood has been shed and lives have been lost, and Col­lier, known to his crew un­der the bat­tle so­bri­quet of “War­daddy,” has lasted this long by keep­ing his kill-or-be-killed rage stoked hot. The “daddy” han­dle is not in­ap­pro­pri­ate. He is re­spon­si­ble for the lives of his fel­low crew mem­bers, in­clud­ing the doggedly Christian gun­ner Boyd Swan (Shia LaBeouf), the some­what re­pul­sive back­woods red­neck Grady Travis (Jon Bern­thal) and sar­donic Latino driver Trini Gar­cia (Michael Peña). Into this mix of bat­tle-har­dened men comes a young clerk-typ­ist named Nor­man (Lo­gan Ler­man), un­trained and un­pre­pared for the re­spon­si­bil­i­ties of his new job. But at least he gets an inkling of what’s ahead of him with his first task: tak­ing a bucket of wa­ter and clean­ing up the bloody re­mains of his pre­de­ces­sor — in­clud­ing the man’s face — in the bow­els of the Sher­man. What fol­lows is Nor­man’s trial by fire. It is un­der­stood the war is nearly over, but the Nazis aren’t go­ing qui­etly, en­list­ing chil­dren and women to their in­creas­ingly des­per­ate fight­ing forces and pub­licly hang­ing young­sters un­will­ing to fight as an ex­am­ple to the oth­ers. “It will end soon,” War­daddy tells Nor­man. “But be­fore it does, a lot more peo­ple gotta die.” And in­deed they do. Ayer por­trays that in a few in­tense bat­tle scenes that don’t spare on the gory de­tails, in­clud­ing legs be­ing shot off, heads blown apart and bod­ies flat­tened un­der tank treads to the ex­tent you can’t tell where the body ends and the mud be­gins. In old Hol­ly­wood war movies, de­tails like that tended to oc­cur off-cam­era. Post- Sav­ing Pri­vate

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