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Plot Details: This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Norman gets lucky.


Plot Overview

The opening titles declare that “In World War II American tanks were outgunned and -armored by German tanks.” It is April, 1945; the Germans in desper­ation have enlisted even their civilian population to fight the invading Allies in this “total war”. We see a lone horse­man approaching the carnage of a recent battle scene. This SS officer is jumped by U.S. Staff Sergeant Don “War­daddy” Collier (Brad Pitt) from his sitting tank, who then proceeds to pound him to kingdom come. He speaks peace­ably to the white horse and sets it free. The war is over for that steed.

Welcome to America
Now Speak English Back in the Sherman tank, Wardaddy kicks Grady “Coon-Ass” Travis (Jon Bernthal) to motivate a speedy repair. He chides his tank driver Trini 'Gordo' Garcia (Michael Peña) for speaking Spanish: “This is an American tank. We speak American”—War­daddy him­self is fluent in German. And when he exclaims they've been “Lucky,” Boyd “Bible” Swan (Shia LaBeouf) demurs that it was by “God's grace.” The remaining member of their five-man crew is silent in death. The tank is soon under way (“Crank her up.”)

Back at base they are asked, “Where's the rest of 3rd Platoon?” You guessed it, “We're it.” They are assigned a new man Private Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) who's been in the army all of eight weeks—the rest of the crew has fought campaigns together in Africa, Belgium, France, and now Germany. He's had no training on tanks and has never fired a gun in anger. War­daddy laments, “I had the best gunner in the entire United Army in S.E. Now I have you.” Regard­less, he promised his men he'd see them through to the end, so he tries bringing the rookie up to speed in the ensuing enemy engagements.

After taking some unnamed town, there's a brief pseudo-domestic scene in which War­daddy prevails upon local fräulein Irma (Anamaria Marinca) to cook up some six goose eggs he's been keeping in a tin (we suppose they symbolize all six of his respon­si­bility in a tank.) Three of his men behave like animals, but Norman gets lucky with Irma's cousin Emma (Alicia von Rittberg). Grady upon realizing he's not getting his share of this dame, licks the young lady's food causing her distress. War­daddy exchanges plates with the young one taking the licking him­self. Soon they are on their way to fight the Nazis to the bitter end.


Norman quickly joined Bible singing enigmatically, “On a hill far away …” prompting the latter to ask him, “Are you saved?” That seems to be a dilemma here, how can a Christian maintain his salvation while fighting a (dirty) war? The animal degradation extends beyond just the killing (“We can kill them, but we can't fuck them 'cause it says so in the Bible.”) They pray the Our Father. War­daddy philoso­phizes: “Ideals are peaceful. History is violent.” They have the following conversation:

Boyd 'Bible' Swan: Here's a Bible verse I think about sometimes. Many times. It goes: “And I heard the voice of Lord saying: ‘Whom shall I send and who will go for Us?’ And … I said: ‘Here am I, send me!’”

Norman Ellison: [Mumbling] Send me.

Wardaddy: Book of Isaiah, Chapter six.

Norman gives little of his background away, but when he was trying to find common grounds with Emma, he read her palm and told her she had the rare mark of Solomon's ring, as he does, meaning she is kind and helpful. We gather Norman signed up (“send me”) to help out the war effort. But if we read a little further in Isaiah, we find, (Isaiah 6:11) “Then said I, ‘Lord, how long?’ And he answered, ‘Until the cities be wasted with­out inhabitant, and the houses with­out man, and the land be utterly desolate.’” War­daddy says the war will go on until people stop killing. The problem with signing up to be helpful is the war eventually deteriorates to its final agonizing fury in which a Christian may find him­self compromised and Norman becomes a “fucking, fighting, drinking machine.”

Wardaddy quotes the Bible, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.” Bible finishes the passage with the next verse, “the world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives for­ever.” This is very noble that they've left the comforts of home to fight in a sacred cause. Reading a little further we find, (1John 2:18) “Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that anti­christ shall come, even now are there many anti­christs; whereby we know that it is the last time.” The Nazis they encounter are verit­able anti­christs, and there's lots of them (“g.d. SS battalion!”) Fighting this kind of enemy attaches with it a temp­tation to become inhumane like them.

The curious thing about this movie is its focus on Norman's eyes and hands. His previous post was as a clerk typist; he could do 60 wpm. We see him playing the piano (hands) while Emma turns the music pages for him (eyes.) At his obser­vation post he breaks off K rations with his hands while he keeps his eyes peeled for enemy move­ment. At the end of his final battle, all we can see is his eyes and hands, while the bedeviled kraut doesn't see nothin'. Couple this with a dearth of back­ground in either geography, notable names, or recog­nizable strategies, and I'd say this movie mimics a furious video game that's fought with eyes and hands.

There are two visual images that stick out: 1) When Norman is cleaning up the tank, he has to remove half the face (including eye) of the previous gunner, which was left there when he got hit. 2) Norman tries to disas­sociate him­self from his hand when War­daddy put a revolver in it and is forcing him to execute a captured Nazi soldier (who'd been out of uniform.) The message to remove an eye or a hand is reflexive of the gospel admonition, Matt. 18:7-9, to remove the offending member rather than have your whole body and soul cast into hell. The psycho­logical message of this movie seems to be to get rid of your violent video game(s) before it hardens your heart out­side of a redeemable state.

Production Values

“Fury” (2014) was written and directed by David Ayer. It stars Brad Pitt, Shia LaBeouf, Logan Lerman, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal. Brad Pitt was the stand­out but they all quit them­selves well. The two fräuleins Anamaria Marinca and Alicia Von Rittberg were awe­some in their mostly body language and facial expression roles. Editing was done by Dody Dorn. The movie is rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language through­out. Sub­titles appeared when German was spoken. A real (German) Tiger tank was used, borrowed from the Bovington Tank Museum in Dorset, England. The score, art direction, sets, set decoration, makeup, costuming and cinema­tography were excellent. The sound and sound effects sounded real though probably not as loud as they would have been on location.

Review Conclusion w/ Christian Recommendation

This (long) grisly movie was not as off-putting as it might have been, and it seems to carry a subtle anti-violent video game message. Other­wise there's not that much to the plot, just a lot of fury as a lost war (for the Germans) is protracted to its bitter end. If you like war movies, the plot be damned, this one if for you.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action-packed. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall product rating: Four stars out of Five.