There is little in this world that warms the cockles of my heart (whatever those are) than seeing a fucking SS Nazi pig getting disemboweled, cut in half by a machine gun, or having his head blown off. SS men were by far the most evil enemies our troops ever faced. Very few of the G.I.s struggling through the fields of France and Germany had the least interest in taking a fucking SS Nazi pig prisoner. In fact, most would literally not piss on them if they were on fire. They would rather watch. There is a scene here where a tank fires several rounds of “Willie Pete” (white phosphorus) into a farmhouse and some fucking SS Nazi pigs come stumbling out, on fire. The tankers actually get angry at the newbie who shoots them to put them out of their misery. I endorse that action, as well as the scene when one fucking SS Nazi pig surrenders with a bunch of child soldiers. Brad Pitt asks the burgomeister if this is the fucking SS Nazi pig who hung children from lampposts in town, with signs saying they had not adequately dedicated themselves to the Third Reich. The burgo says ja, that’s him. Pitt instantly shoot him in the back. If you were in the wehrmacht infantry there was a chance that you had been drafted. Fucking SS Nazi pigs were all volunteers, and psychopaths to a man. Hitler’s pet supermen. Ask a Russian about fucking SS Nazi pigs, then step back quickly before he spits on your shoes.
Got sidetracked there. It’s just that fucking SS Nazi pigs really push one of my anger buttons …
This is an un-apologetically old-fashioned World War II movie, though much more violent and maybe a bit more morally ambiguous than the ones that came out in the decade post-war. Not a lot of time is spent on worrying about the morality of killing fucking Nazis, though I’m sure a lot of folks will be upset about the killing of prisoners. The fact is that Americans and Brits and Canadians fighting their way toward Berlin took a hell of a lot of prisoners, many more than the Germans and Russians. And we seldom slaughtered them in wholesale lots. But when it was expedient, when taking care of a prisoner would be difficult, or slow down an advance, all bets were off. For myself, who has never been shot at, I refuse to condemn them. I suspect that if I ever had been shot at by a man in a German uniform, I would not worry too much about shooting one whose hands were in the air.
The story … through the usual kind of Army SNAFU, Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman), a clerk-typist who has been in uniform just two months, is transferred to a tank company commanded by Brad Pitt. The other tankers (Shia LaBeouf, Michael Peña, and Jon Bernthal) are dubious, to say the least. These four men and one other have fought together in the same tank, Fury, since the North African campaign, without a casualty until now. Norman’s first task is to clean the blood, brains, and part of a face from his new position as co-driver/hull gunner. He has never been in a tank before.
Being new, they have to test him, which Pitt does by ordering him to shoot a German officer prisoner. He refuses, still caught up in niceties like the Geneva Conventions. And, frankly, it was wrong here, but I do understand how the four tankers have reached the stage where any German in uniform is no longer human. Pitt does not relent, forcing the pistol into Norman’s hand and squeezing the trigger.
Norman does learn quickly, though. Before long he is reveling in mowing down the Krauts by the dozen. If you can’t get to where you can do something like that fairly easily, I suspect you won’t survive, speaking from my vast non-combat experience. I figure that’s what I would do, anyway.
The grand finale is sort of like the Alamo by way of The Wild Bunch. Their tank has lost a tread, but they have been ordered to hold a crossroads. A battalion of fucking waffen SS Nazi pig stormtroopers is approaching. Four of them are ready to get out of there, but the commander says he is staying. The others decide to join him. Even immobile, a Sherman tank is a formidable opponent to foot soldiers without heavy support. So we get a bloodbath with at least half of the Germans getting blown to pieces. I have to say I didn’t believe they could have held out for quite as long as they did … but I still enjoyed the hell out of it. Like I said up top, nothing is quite as satisfying on a gut level to me than seeing a lot of stunt men pretending to be fucking SS Nazi pigs getting slaughtered.