Fury is an incredible movie. Find out why you should watch it.
To get everyone on the same page, here’s a trailer for the film. It’s about a Sherman tank crew navigating the last months of World War II—in Germany. (It stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal.)
Now let’s get to the thee reasons why you need to watch it.
1.) The cinematography and dialogue are amazing. The opening scene is absolutely stunning. I don’t want to give it away, but it sets the pace for a powerful ride. The movie’s awfully bloody, although it doesn’t devolve to any Tarantino-like gore worship. Operating a tank in World War II was an incredibly violent job. A British tank veteran reflected on the movie, and just how gruesome tank life was:
There is a lot of blood and gore in the film but nothing can really come close to the true horrors of tank warfare. I saw people being blown up and burnt alive. Going to see Fury you don’t get that dreadful, nauseating smell of burnt flesh. That will stay with me forever.
The film’s violence breeds fascinating dialogue. One character exhorts another to accept the horrors of war, and what must be done to defeat the enemy: “Ideals are peaceful; history is violent.” At the very least, the movie is great discussion material for debates about pacifism and violence.
2.) Shia LaBeouf became a Christian while filming this movie—or did he? LaBeouf delivers a strong performance as Boyd “Bible” Swan, a Christian who kills Nazis but abstains from sex and alcohol. He told Interview Magazine about his conversion to Christianity while playing this character:
I found God doing Fury. I became a Christian man, and not in a f***ing bulls**t way—in a very real way. I could have just said the prayers that were on the page. … Brad [Pitt] was really instrumental in guiding my head through this. Brad comes from a hyper-religious, very deeply Christian, Bible Belt life, and he rejected it and moved toward an unnamed spirituality. He looked at religion like the people’s opium, almost like a Marxist view on religion. Whereas [Fury writer-director] David [Ayers] is a full subscriber to Christianity.
Sounds like a fascinating story, right? Well, perhaps Shia is duping us:
We know that LaBeouf is a proponent of method acting because he has done a number of disturbing things in order to remain “in character” while filming or auditioning for a role. … The most revealing affirmation of this theory comes from the film’s director himself. In an interview with Esquire, David Ayer said of Shia’s public antics “He’s manipulating people. It’s like performance art. It’s very conscious on his part.”
Whether or not he became a Christian, he’s great in this movie.
3.) Fury reminds us that we can’t externalize evil. In the film, you see Americans commit war crimes and a Nazi show grace. As N.T. Wright argues in Evil and the Justice of God, “the line between good and evil runs right through the middle of me, and of every one of us.” It’s tempting to label Nazis as entirely evil, but things are more complicated than that. Good and evil exist in every person.
Final thoughts: In the words of Ferris Bueller, Fury is “so choice.” Check it out.
P.S. Don’t miss Brad Pitt’s appearance on Between Two Ferns, where he promoted his new flick. There’s some strong language, but it’s a hilarious video.