A dark rider atop a white horse, a figure of nobility, mounts the horizon over an endless expanse of rutted mud. The horse trots into a landscape of wreckage and the rider – a Nazi officer, we now see – is knocked from his steed by a hitherto unseen assailant. The officer’s fate is swift and brutal: the flash of a blade, spouts of dense crimson blood fountaining from pierced flesh. This is how David Ayer’s World War II film, Fury, begins: with dignity dragged down into the muck and violated. And so it is throughout.
Fury is consumed by filth, as though the movie’s reels were smeared with muck, their sprocket holes plugged with sludge. A tank, named Fury, labours through tracks of viscous, unforgiving mud, rumbling past the dirty faces of Germany’s desperate refugees. Warfare is unrelenting and equally dirty, all sprays of blood, gobs of ragged flesh, and showers of architectural debris.