For the last few years I've been a staunch supporter of a temporary 10 year ban on all WWII and slavery movies, not because I don't enjoy them, but because every time a new one comes out I find myself thinking of the Love & Rockets song "No New Tale To Tell." These topics have both been exhausted, plucked for every bit of story that can be scraped out of them. There's a reason they are the two topics covered in Quentin Tarantino's two false-historial pictures. We know the reality of it so well that the only place to go is to turn the history on its head.
Despite this feeling of mine, I went to see Fury yesterday. Let me begin by saying it's a very well-done movie that I thoroughly enjoyed. And there were brief moments in the film where I felt as though it was revealing aspects of this war that had not yet been covered in film. But all of that said, I still hold firm to my belief that the film world could use a break from WWII pictures. The problem wasn't with this film, but with the dozens, if not hundreds, that I'd seen before it, which have defined the key elements that are "necessary" for a powerful war film.
Fury hits all of the marks on the long checklist of what a war movie should be. It has the conflicted soldiers, called into action for a greater cause only to realize that regardless of rationale, war is hell. It depicts the brotherhood bond that war creates among soldiers. It shows heroic acts, which leave the heroes questioning what's so heroic about something so terrible. It has a tough leader who silently suffers the horrors around him. It's beautifully shot, emotionally paced, and leaves one character alive to keep the memory of the others going so that their sacrifice is not forgotten.
Basically, it's a WWII movie...like all of the ones that came before it. Maybe it's unfair to judge one film on the over production of the genre. If you had never seen any of the wonderful war movies ever made, there's no doubt you'd be blown away by this one. But if, like me, you have, then this becomes just another in a long list of good flicks. If there isn't a ban put in place, we can at lease demand that the same stories are told in a new way.