War movies used to be about heroism and manliness. In recent times, they have been about fear, uncertainty and doubt. Fury by David Ayer (cop drama End Of Watch, 2012) belongs firmly in the latter school, made popular in films about the war in Vietnam.
The moral dilemmas of Platoon (1986) and Full Metal Jacket (1987) are worked here into a drama set during World War II, usually seen as the last "good" war fought by the Americans, a fight in which the enemy was unequivocally evil.
In the final months of the war, American ground forces have taken the fight to Germany. The battle-tested crew of the tank Fury - including Don "Wardaddy" Collier (Brad Pitt, right) - must adapt to greenhorn assistant driver Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman, left).
There are setpiece engagements here that stand out as the most visceral ever filmed, and all the actors are excellent, despite their thin, almost caricaturish personalities. The final showdown at the film's climax is completely over the top, but what it lacks in accuracy of tactics, it more than makes up for in nail-biting excitement.
This article was first published on Oct 24, 2014. Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.