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Warning! This post contains significant spoilers. Read only if you don’t mind that.

Well, you’ve been warned about the spoilers.

First, I have to confess. I did not really want to go watch Fury all that much. I don’t even like war movies, but what really turned me off was the constant Wargaming hype. Fury here, Fury there, Fury fucking everywhere. I hate hype, because it usually means the product itself is poor and even if it is not, it almost never lives up to the hype anyway. But… I have a tank blog, so I guess it could not be avoided, since this was promoted everywhere as “THE” tank movie. Of course, by this time, a lot of people have already seen the movie, so I guess it won’t be anything new for many of you. A really weird thing were the Czech subtitles by the way – the person, who made them clearly had absolutely no clue what they are talking about, they just got a few technical terms translated to Czech and used them incorrectly. Oh well.

The movie starts with explaining to you, how much American tanks sucked compared to the German ones and how “terribly outmatched” were the Americans in armor. That of course is crap and I am starting to sense that cold dread of Belton Cooper being channelled, but don’t worry, it won’t matter that much, because there are literally three minutes (maybe even less) of tank vs tank combat in the movie.

The movie shows a story of Brad Pitt (his character is called “Don” or “Wardaddy”, hell if I know why) and his crew. There are four other crewmembers – a dirty guy, I don’t remember his name, so I’ll call him Fuckface, because I really don’t like the actor (I don’t like Brad Pitt either, but I like this actor even less). Then there is the hated Shia LeBoeuf as “Bible” (considering his reputation, he did a pretty good job on his role), who is a hardcore Christian gunner and the driver is a Mexican called Garcia. Odd thing – weren’t the hispanic people segregated in WW2 in separate units like the black people? Anyway, the last crewmember’s name is Norman (bow machinegunner aka “assistant driver”). Pitt and his crew minus Normal roll to an American camp, where Norman joins them and his first job is to clean the rest of his predecessor from the tank – and by “the rest” I mean a torn-off half of his face, so my first thought was “oh, it’s THIS kind of movie” – luckily, while brutal, the violence (initially) doesn’t feel pointless.

The movie was advertised as authentic and gritty. Just to be sure, before the movie, I intentionally lowered my realism expectations and would be happy to settle with something like “grittier private Ryan”. Unfortunately, the authenticity in the mind of the director is apparently filling the tank with complete assholes, especially Fuckface and Mexican are pretty bad and Pitt’s character is deranged, most of his dialogues involve him explaining how he likes to kill Germans. The reason WHY he likes to kill them was never exactly explained, although in one scene, his back was shown bearing healed burns, so that might be it. You know how I hate nazis – with that being said, roughly 15 minutes into the movie, I started cheering for the Germans. I don’t remember ever watching a movie, where the main characters were less likeable, but whatever, it’s the director’s choice. If however this part was indeed “authentic”, I think that US tank crewmember suicides and murders of other crewmembers would make a very interesting topic for a serious historical study.

Anyway, with the newbie on board, the crew is tasked with killing some Germans somewhere (movie doesn’t use location names, so it’s just “go there and save our troopers pinned by the Germans”). This is where the “fun” starts. For one, the tracers in the movie look like fucking Star Wars blasts, especially the green German ones. In daylight. Tracers came in different colours, that’s fine, but they are too bright and to say it looks odd would be an understatement. Germans traditionally can’t really hit anything, they have a bunch of 75mm AT guns in the forest, which are firing all over the place, missing the slowly moving unobstructed tanks in the middle of an open field.

A little historical note. The fact that they can’t hit anything could be because at that point, the situation of German troops was pretty much hopeless. Germany was practically defeated from 1943 onwards (only delaying the inevitable) and by early 1945, they were really scraping the bottom of the barrel. The men were untrained and underequipped, hence my earlier surprise regarding the decision to put the movie to April 1945. Fighting a bunch of green conscripts usually doesn’t make an epic story (all the while everyone in the movie was for some reason acting as if America was practically losing).

Anyway, back to the movie. So naturally a tank platoon with Brad Pitt in charge steamrolls the laser-wielding Germans and saves the American troops, who then gleefuly execute the German soldiers trying to give up. Realism, remember? The entire lovely scene ends with Brad Pitt forcing Norman to execute an unarmed prisoner begging for his life. Now, make no mistake – “no prisoners” situations happened in WW2 of course. But a cold-blooded POW execution? The director clearly wanted to make the Americans look like the biggest assholes possible (not even mentioning looting the German bodies, but that was common). Oh yes and one more thing – did you know that when hit by a HE shell, a German PaK EXPLODES? I don’t mean normal HE effect, I mean “hit by a one-ton-bomb effect”. Because that’s exactly what happened when the tanks started firing in general PaK direction. And I almost forgot, at one point the leading tank of the platoon is attacked by a HEAT round (probably Panzerfaust), wielded by the kid. The Sherman of course starts burning immediately, cooking the crew (Belton Cooper would be proud).

City Interlude

After this action, Pitt and his tank move to a German city. Here, another strange scene takes place. Pitt’s character speaks German for some reason (no story explanation given) and drives around the hostile city unbuttoned on top of the turret. He asks an old German man where are the German soldiers. The old German man actually showed him (!), at which point he was shot by a German sniper. You know, being a German sniper, having the chance to execute a commander of the leading tank, what do you do? Of course, you shoot the German grandpa instead. But I guess that would make a very short movie. *sigh* After the sniper is disposed of by shelling the bulding, the tanks drive to a square, where Fury is hit directly to the front at 20 meters by a German 75mm AT gun. Luckily, Fury’s armor is made of concetrated Freedomium and the shell does nothing. Fury in turn burns the AT position with white phosphorus shell. Uhhh… was 76mm WP even standard issue? Can’t say, I am not an expert on these things. Either way, another asshole moment, as Americans cheer at the burning Germans, until Norman mows them down with a BMG. After the AT position is knocked out, some German soldiers (kids and an SS officer, who is promptly executed) give up and the city suddenly becomes liberated. American soldiers start running around, looting the houses and bribing the German women to have sex with them. Pitt and Norman find some two young German ladies, Norman has sex with one, then Fuckface and Mexican barge in and want to rape the same girl and there’s an awkward scene about that with a meal. Whatever. Suddenly (literally within 20 minutes), they have to push forward. At this point, the tank fired like 6 rounds (remember that number) in total. The city scene is ended with a sudden German 3-round artillery strike on German civillians, that – you guessed it – of course destroys the house Norman and Pitt were in and leaves the two women dead in the building, making Norman finally totally hate Germans. Logical, yes?

Tiger Fight

After this “motivation” part, the tank column (4 tanks) leaves the town and goes… somewhere (no idea where, but GERMANS MUST NOT GET IT), when they suddenly start being fired at by – yes, you guessed it, the Tiger! I must say – this was probably the only chilling moment in the movie. Not because of the story (at this point, you probably realized how stupid it is), but because the Bovington Tiger is a piece of history, that actually fired at real life Allies in Africa. I guess Bovington REALLY needed the money for the lease (and I hoped the lease covered the Sherman they wrecked during the making of the movie, but apparently it did not).

Anyway, the Tiger is unhistorically buffed as well (the turret seems to rotate faster than it did in real life) and wrecks three of the Shermans – they ALL either explode or start burning. You know how American server tank expert (The_Chieftain) wrote about this being crap? Well, good luck disproving this nasty myth after this movie. At this point, it’s Fury vs the Tiger. The Tiger fires like three shots I think – one bounces (!), one ricochets and the third gets apparently stopped by the – I shit you not – tree logs on the side of the Sherman. Stronk freedomium armor in action. Fury circles around it and destroys it by firing in the rear. Tiger starts burning of course and that’s it. Three minutes (one half of which is CGI) or so and it’s over. So much for the “selling point”. It took 3 shells for the Fury to finish the Tiger (which makes the amount of shells spent like 10, two of which were smoke – forgot the smoke rounds earlier).

Last Stand

The death of the Tiger concludes the interesting part and what comes next is one of the most retarded scenes I have EVER seen in ANY movie ever. It’s just… well, let me just start from the beginning.

Fury reaches the crossroads it’s supposed to “protect” (because what do you do when your platoon gets wiped out and you have no infantry support? that’s right, you push on to enemy territory anyway). The crossroads is located near some old house or something. There, it drives over a mine, loses a roadwheel and of course the tracks, immobilizing the tank completely. Fuckface and Mexican start repairing the tank, while Norman is sent on patrol. Oddly enough, he just walks down the road, ignoring the fact that it’s probably full of mines, because, you know, his tank just drove on one. He sits down for a meal, watches around and suddenly, he is surprised by 300 singing Waffen SS troops, many of which carry Panzerfausts (important later), plus there are two halftracks and a truck. Norman somehow teleports back to Fury half an hour before the hard-marching Germans and warns them.

The tank is still busted and at this point, it’s full daylight and there are 300 Waffen SS (of COURSE it has to be Waffen SS) troops approaching. Time to bail and fight another day!

Nah, no way. Instead, Pitt comes up with an utterly retarded plan to stop them all, because it’s really totally a good plan to stop 300 troops with a crippled tank. It seemed to me the tank moved to the side of the road for no reason (the damaged tracks are still where they were, only the tank moved to side), it wouldn’t be the only inconsistency in the movie by far.

Basically, the crew takes a random dead German guy, sets him on fire and puts him on the front of the tank. Not sure why, because the tank sure looked crippled even without a burning body on the front hull, but who knows, maybe it was a ritual sacrifice or something. So, what do you do, when you have a crippled tank and horde of infantry with short range AT weapons coming in? You keep them at bay with machinegun fire, so they can’t storm your tank, right?

Well, of course not, that would be too logical. Instead, they let the entire SS formation come at point blank range and start… throwing grenades at them. And firing from crew personal weapons (submachine guns, Pitt has a StG 44, god knows where he gets ammo for it). The scene is completely silly, Germans running like headless chickens in FRONT of the tank – so the crew can hit them comfortably. Then they start firing their personal weapons at the tank, which has about the same effect as you would expect. The movie turns from a historical movie to pure MURRIKAN RAMBO action movie, with the crew slaughtering dozens of hapless Germans with the vehicle machineguns and submachine guns. And what of the main gun?

Well, it turns out the main gun is out of ammo. Because fuck logic. They still have two white phosphorus rounds, that they use on the building, that is full of Germans (when you fight a tank with a main gun, naturally you hide in a building 20 meters from the tank, so it can knock it down on your head with a HE shell). American crews are also too cool to go on missions with full ammo loadout it seems. Even if the entire platoon was not defeated by the Tiger, how was it expected to hold the crossroads with no ammo?

Another really strange moment is the day/night switch. When the fight starts, it’s full daylight and the movie suddenly without any warning (or a cut or anything explaining it) switches and its full nightime. Oddly enough, daylight is still pouring in through commander’s cupola of the tank (you can see it clearly), while outside it’s suddenly night (very noticeable inconsistency). The Germans (who are too untrained to do anything, but have again strangely enough good enough morale to literally line up in front of the tank and get shot) suddenly remember they actually have Panzerfausts! But not those guys who walked with them earlier, no – those disappeared somewhere. Instead, the “commander” has the troops unload two full boxes of Panzerfausts, saying it’s the only Panzerfausts they have. So what the hell did happen to those guys walking with them earlier?

So, the Germans try to knock out the Fury with Panzerfausts, killing Fuckface – there is no jet of flame in the tank by the way, more like a… solid projectile punching a circular hole in his body. I have never seen what a HEAT round looks like inside of the tank, but… well, maybe it’s real. I don’t know. Anyway, now Fuckface is dead and Mexican gets killed too, as well as Bible, which sends Pitt into a berserk rage, he climbs on the tank and starts shooting everyone with the 50 cal. He has no cover and the area is still swarming with Germans, but he is immune to counterfire of course, until one enemy sniper (who is there for some reason and who was just sitting there doing nothing until now all the while the rest of the crew was earlier just standing from the hatches and shooting submachine guns) kills him. Then the Germans throw some grenades in the tank and it’s over, everyone is dead except for Norman, who escapes through the floor hatch and hides under the tank, where he is discovered by strapping young Waffen SS officer, who doesn’t blow his cover and just lets him be, despite the Americans slaughtering a hundred or so of his buddies.

Norman is then rescued by Americans, movie over.

Summary

A movie, that turns from a promising beginning to something really strange. How on earth is it so positively reviewed everywhere, I have absolutely no idea. In any case, unless you really want to see a random MURRIKA STRONK action movie with tons of Germans being slaughtered, don’t bother. If you just want to go and see something nice, go see Interstellar instead, it’s awesome.

Be warned – Fury is NOT a tank movie and NOT a realistic movie, especially the second part.

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