Fury director-writer David Ayer has stated that “the knives are out” over his “polarizing” hell-piss-blood-mud film. I don’t know about that. Most reviewers (myself included) have called it a grimly respectable adrenalized war flick. Yes, it’s presented by way of videogame action aesthetics but them’s the breaks if you wanna attract GenY and GenX males. The “knives”, if you will, are mainly about the absurd finale, and so far only six reviewers have manned up and called a spade a spade. If anyone else has levelled with his/her readers in this respect, please advise.

“[The finale] is occupied by a quasi-suicidal mission that Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) is ordered to undertake by a captain (Jason Isaacs). The command is issued so quickly that it’s not really clear why it’s so important for tanks to rush behind enemy lines; the Americans know they’re going to win, so the puzzlement over the reason for sending men into such peril at this stage impedes one’s investment in the climactic action. Plunking Wardaddy and his men down in such an impossible position doesn’t feel right dramatically, and [Pitt’s] stoic reaction…introduces a note of windy grandiosity that mildly rubs the wrong way against everything that’s come before.” — Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter, 10.10.

“The film’s climax…abandons realism entirely, as the devastated crew seemingly takes on the entire German army with a single rusty, immobile tank. Fury lives up to its title with its great ferocity, but at a certain point, it begins to feel like a macho fantasy.” — Nathan Rabin, The Dissolve, 10.16.

“Would a team of five men with a half-disabled tank really dig in their heels and fight a [company] of Germans nearly 300 strong? This choice is [Fury‘s] most ‘Hollywood’ element.” — Peter Debruge, Variety, 10.10.

“The culminating battle finds [the tank crew] squaring off against dozens and dozens of desperate Germans, hours from the end of the war. Here the realism fades, and Ayer favors a more impersonal, more commercial form of carnage.” — Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, 10.16.

“The nihilistic fuck-all finish, [which] makes no real strategic sense, seems inspired on some level by the ending of The Wild Bunch, which I understand Ayer is a big fan of. But there’s no Wild Bunch rationale built into the story or the characters so it feels posed and futile. Five guys in a broken-down tank vs. 300 German solders is just suicide, plain and simple. They’ve no chance so why does Pitt decide to fight it out? They aren’t trapped. They aren’t fighting the enemy to give other Allied troops time to achieve some other objective — this wasn’t the Alamo. They haven’t been ordered to protect a bridge at all costs, like the guys in Saving Private Ryan. This was April 1945 — the end of the war. Hitler would be dead in two or three weeks. It didn’t matter. If Pitt and his homies had abandoned the tank and run like thieves I would have jumped out of my seat and said ‘Yes! Run for it! All right!’” — My own review, posted on 10.10.

“The tank setup is much like a first-person shooter and the violence escalates in true video game form, where the stakes in each battle get more harried. That continues right up to an unbelievable final showdown, where the titular tank and its five players take on a Nazi army 300 deep, who conveniently attack in small waves for our fistful of heroes to mow down. That’s pure Call of Duty tactics.” — Radheyan Simonpillai, AskMen (undated).