By Emmanuel Gutierrez |Asst. Features Editor|
As the Allies march their way through the heart of Nazi Germany, the film begins with Wardaddy, played by Bradd Pitt, losing one of the best of his platoon in a tank battle.
The empty seat is filled by Logan Lerman’s character Norman, the wide-eyed and innocent, novice soldier skilled in the deadly art of bookkeeping.
Much of the plot deals with Norman’s repulsion and reluctance to join the mindless animosity exhibited by his war-hardened platoon.
Inversely, Norman presents a vulnerability to the group, because potentially any slip-up due to incompetence or ethical protests could lead to a bullet in each of their heads—something Wardaddy swore he wouldn’t allow to happen.
Wardaddy is successful as he utilizes his strategic, on-the-fly war expertise and fluency in German to pave their way behind enemy lines.
Lerman’s acting was dynamically underwhelming and was most evident when sharing screen time with the more experienced and capable actors.
I concur with student Cesar Marin, “[Logan Lerman’s] performance was weak and bogged down the film from being something truly memorable.”
The remaining characters were particularly well cast. Shia LaBoeuf played the sensible man of faith nicknamed “Bible;” John Benthal was the goofy and childlike, but dementedly twisted “Coon-ass;” and of course, Michael Peña, “Gordo,” the comedic, token minority.
Some scenes in the film are brutal, not just because of the eruptions of blood, dismembering limbs, and other cringing acts of violence, but also from the immediate responses from the seasoned soldiers.
They’re numb to it all, and some relish in the killing.
A few members of the audience laughed at the gruesome scenes, scored to dark, dramatic orchestral music—obviously not meant to be comedic.
I know people digest discomforting information differently, and laughing during such occasions may be a common coping method—but these were joyous, boisterous laughs not squeamish chuckles.
The audience is successfully invoked to sympathize with Norman because he’s pressured to contribute to the brutal realities of war. However, there are scenes meant to astonish the mind with morally grey and black depictions of atrocities committed by the other members of the platoon.
This isn’t a Tarantino film where violence ensues tongue-in-cheek. The desensitization of violence in our society—at least in the audience—makes me question if others missed one of the key themes of the film: it takes a monster to kill a monster.
“I found the movie a little predictable, but still watchable. It needed more Avant-garde,” said student Amilene Valencia.
A standout scene, which unsurprisingly carried a heavier dosage of acting in place of blistering tank warfare, occurred with Pitt and Lerman’s characters having breakfast with two female German civilians.
Norman played a soft, cheery piano harmony, accompanied by a sweetly sung melody in a foreign tongue.
The scene itself was tonally soft and heart warming, but then abruptly ends as the duet gazes at the mirror’s reflection of Pitt’s gnarled, gruesomely scarred back.
“Fury” remains a great war flick with stunning, visceral imagery of —combatwho knew exploding, uprooted forests could be so aesthetically alluring and awesome?
Despite Lerman’s shortcomings and an unfortunate lack of scenes that further fleshed out the platoon, I’d still recommend the film to those dying to see a war flick.