David Ayer's Hollywood blockbuster starring Brad Pitt is in the same uncompromising vein as D-Day movie 'Saving Private Ryan' and does not make for easy viewing.
... So what of Fury, the latest Hollywood contribution to the genre? David Ayer, the writer and director, has made it clear that he wanted to portray the closing weeks of the war with a new sense of realism. To a historian, that is a challenge and a half.
Before the opening shot, writing appears on the screen telling us that the Americans were equipped with tanks that had inferior guns and armour to those of the Germans. This is a breathtaking generalisation, and conforms to a ridiculous myth, still widely accepted, that the Germans had better kit than the Allies. Most German tanks were still Panzer Mk IVs, which were not at all superior. The 76mm gun used by the M4A3E8 Sherman, as featured in the film, had a velocity equal to that of the legendary 88mm German gun with which Tigers were equipped. The British 17-pounder was even more lethal. What’s more, by April 1945, the British had the Comet and the Americans the Pershing, both superior to those much-feared German beasts.
Generally, the tank commanders are too old, not least Brad Pitt, at 50; and also Jason Isaacs (51), who plays an infantry captain; the average age of a US company commander by then was 21.
Yet despite these quibbles, the film is a reassuring return to old Hollywood form and ticks many of the established pre-Ryan rules. Pitt is one of the world’s biggest stars and that’s what war films need. The final scene is utterly gripping, brilliantly recreated and the kind of shoot-out that almost certainly would never have happened – why would a lone tank stick its neck out in such a way when the entire Allied armies were just a mile or so behind? But this scenario, again, sits well with the genre.
Fury takes gritty violent realism to new levels, while the detail is absolutely spot on, right down to Isaacs’s captured Luftwaffe coat – a nice touch. The claustrophobia of the tank is brilliantly conveyed, as are all the action sequences, including an effective recreation of a combined armour and infantry attack, and a sensational shoot-out with a Tiger. Certainly, war is violent and hell in Ayer’s film, and those who felt squeamish watching Saving Private Ryan might find some of the graphic violence hard to stomach.
But it is a terrific portrayal of a horrific time. It conforms to all the age-old rules of war films, yet is groundbreaking in its action. These scenes symbolise the terrible sacrifice of the greatest generation. And most importantly of all, it reminds us, vividly, gut-wrenchingly, that the Second World War was a truly catastrophic event that took place not long ago, right here on our doorstep.
Films such as Fury ensure that is a fact we will never forget...(see more at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/film/11169837/Fury-a-Second-World-War-film-that-takes-no-prisoners.html)