A David Ayer film that isn't complete garbage? Say it isn't so...
Set in the waning days of World War II, a rag-tag group of Allied soldiers led by Staff Sergeant Collier (Brad Pitt) push through Germany with their trusty tank: 'Fury'. The well-worn crew include the usual war tropes; the religious one: "Bible" Swan, (Shia LaBeouf) the non-white one: "Gordo" Garcia, (Michael Pena) the angry one: "Coon-Ass" Travis (Jon Bernthal) and the new soldier assigned to the group: Norman (Logan Lerman).
The group are assigned with other tanks on various missions through Germany in an attempt to help the Allied forces make their way through hostile territory. Wedged in between scenes of graphic violence, we are treated to Norman having trouble acclimating to life in the war. He is treated as a grunt among the others in the group and, being in the war for a short period of time, has yet to experience the ugliness that war offers.
After starting rough, with forced dialogue and a struggle to get the film in motion, Fury eventually settles in with standard war tropes. Collier is hardened from his years in combat, yet struggles with the fact the violence he sees and participates in is tearing him apart. Norman is paired with "Gordo" on the front guns of 'Fury' and acts as Norman's, and the audience's, narrator in explaining what to do in the tank. "Coon-Ass" is there to antagonize Norman while "Bible" provides comfort via various religious passages.
All the steps for making a solid war movie are here, and the script follows them step-by-step. Beyond trying to make the film even grittier than past war movies, the film feels very safe and does not take many chances with the opportunities presented. With the script setup, you can pretty much telegraph each action/plot beat way before the film presents it to you. The moment that stands out most regarding the script needing to move on is after a dining scene with the 'Fury' crew and 2 female civilians. Once the scene with the females feels like it has been stretched as far as it can, all of a sudden the script moves the 'Fury' crew to their next mission.
The script continues to let down the audience even when we get to the climax of the film; seemingly ripped out of Saving Private Ryan's script. The 'Fury' crew are outgunned and outnumbered when trying to preserve a section of Germany. With these odds stacked against them, they refuse to let the Germans pass without a fight. As this battle rages on, you can pretty much guess in order how the casualties will flow. Not to ruin the film, but at least some of the 'Fury' crew do not make it out alive.
And speaking of the ending, the resolution of the film feels so false. David Ayer spends the entirety of the film showcasing the dark elements of the film. Anyone can and will die. Yet, the last scene completely falsifies what was set up before it. I understand what David Ayer was trying, but I feel that 'Fury' did not earn the ending it wanted.
Even with that, 'Fury' as a whole is a solid film, filled with enough action to satisfy most of the persons wanting to see the film. The directing is solid and the cast provides enough pull to make 'Fury' worth a viewing.