Most war films make war’s gritty horror necessary to achieve peace. The soldiers who endure this horror achieve grace by enduring it. That’s the theme of Saving Private Ryan and Band of Brothers, the two most esteemed recent entries in the genre.
Fury doesn’t care for grace or war’s justifications. It presents its unrelenting horror in an apocalyptic manner. It has more in common with Vietnam War films than World War 2 films. Still, Fury can’t help from dipping into cliche, and its brutal aesthetic contrasts with these cliches so much that it highlights them.
Norman is a young recruit thrust into Fury’s veteran squad. He’s too scared to kill, but becomes grizzled as time passes. You’ve already seen this part of the movie. Gordo and Coon Ass are Fury’s driver and resident lunkhead, respectively. Neither really breaks out of their two-dimensionality. Even Coon Ass telling Norman he’s angry with him because he’s…
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