David Ayer's Fury is not the sort of film that tries to weave mystery and ambiguity into its tale of WWII bravery - and the cost of such bravery. The movie is pretty straightforward in its examination of how young Norman Ellison (Logan Lerman) gets broken into the trials (and horrors) of war; yet, there is one moment in the movie's climax that has people talking.
If you have NOT seen Fury yet STOP READING NOW - MAJOR SPOILERS FOLLOW! If you want an assessment of the film without having the plot spoiled for you - head over to our official Fury Review. You've been warned.
Fury Ending Explained
When the crew of the Fury find their tank disabled, and an approaching enemy SS battalion en route to flank allied forces, they make the selfless choice to hold their ground and fight the entire SS squad in an immobilized tank - no matter the cost. Wardaddy (Brad Pitt) and his boys (Shia LaBeouf, Jon Bernthal and Michael Peña) give the Nazis hell and take many of them down - but one by one they ultimately fall in battle. Only new recruit Norman Ellison gets a chance at survival - slipping out of a hatch underneath the tank, where he hides in the thick mud.
As the battle between the SS and The Fury ends, and the Nazis (now much thinner in number) continue on their way, there is a tense moment where a boyish SS soldier (about Norman's age) looks under the tank and sees the young allied soldier hiding in the mud. Instead of raising alarm, the young SS soldier surprisingly enough chooses to ignore Norman and continue on his way without a word. That act of mercy allows Norman to survive the night and make it to a new day as the sole survivor of The Fury.
One point of contention has been that a supposed SS soldier would never let an enemy soldier live - or even that the moment somehow attempts to humanize Nazis. While people tend to take what they will away from a film, we had a different analysis of that tense climatic moment - and just had to discuss it with the filmmaker:
Screen Rant: One thing I know has been an early kind of discussion point is at the very end of the movie in the moment, of course, when Logan is under the tank and there is this soldier from the other side. Some people have kind of criticized that. To me, I kind of read it as what we were seeing in that moment was almost all the stuff we had learned with his character up until there. This was like the mirror of that on the other side and they kind of have that moment. That kid is like him and he kind of moves on. Is that right?
David: That’s exactly it. It’s not Logan’s war. The thing is over in four weeks. This kid should have been going to college, but by that time they stopped the deferments because they were running out of bodies to send in and fight. And the same with the Germans. They were grabbing kids out of classrooms. It’s interesting, because that German soldier is actually 14 years old. But the idea is, it’s not their war. They shouldn’t have been there. And somebody has to rebuild when it’s over. There’s people on both sides of it. In four weeks they are not the enemy anymore. There’s just something interesting about that.
In my own opinion, the film manages to earn that moment - if one simply interprets the onlooking SS solider as a reflection of Norman when he first came to The Fury. As Ayer eluded to (and Norman himself states in the film), the kid is an intellectual, not a killer - and that young SS soldier is something cut from the same cloth. Ayer's comments about the time period of the scene (four weeks before V-Day) even takes things deeper when you ponder how two young men on opposing shared the same burning desire to outlive the last days of The War.
As stated, though, each viewer will have her/his own interpretation and reaction to that pivotal moment in the film. What are your thoughts?
Fury is now playing in theaters. It is 134 minutes long and is Rated R for strong sequences of war violence, some grisly images, and language throughout.
Follow us and talk movies @screenrant - and be sure to listen to our in-depth discussion of the film on the SR Underground Podcast.