About – Old marine buddies rekindle their friendship after Larry ‘Doc’ Sheperds (Steve Carell) son was killed in the Iraq war.
Based upon the novel, both titled, Last Flag Flying written by Darryl Ponicsan. Who also co-wrote the motion-picture with Richard Linklater, the director.
Last Flag Flying is a melancholy road trip between three friends. Due to the murder of Larry ‘Doc’ Sheperds son in the Iraq war. Doc finds his old friends via the internet. Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston) a now bartender and drunk, set out to find Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) a now reverend. They divulge into stories of their past, livelihoods and the future.
Doc is the central character that holds the film and there is always someone on each side of his shoulders. The angel, the reverend on one shoulder and the devil, Sal on the other. Both giving him advise about what Doc should do with his son’s body. There is a scene where Doc has the opportunity to see his sons body. Of course, Sal advises him to see it, but Richard disagrees with the proposal. This scene isn’t funny or trying to be comedic, but that good vs evil is always there even at the most serious of times. This type of storytelling is quite unique but works wonderfully throughout the film.
The humour comes from Sal, with his living in the moment attitude, sarcastic comments and reliving the past. This type of humour can be seen in any friendship group, which makes him relatable. There is always that one friend that is the ‘joker’ that always wants everyone to be laughing. In Sal’s case this type of humour is used to hide away the truth about what happened, when the three men were in the Vietnam war.
The performances were brilliant, terrific in fact. Steve Carell didn’t have that many lines and he didn’t need to, his emotionless face said everything about the character. Bryan and Laurence were outstanding. They truly made the film what it was, with method acting performances. These two shined when the scene was dark and morbid.
Last Flag Flying could easily be a true story, with the government telling lies to the families of the deceased soldiers. We can only imagine what the pain and suffering is like and how easy it is for the government and military to lie to us. One of the real messages that was said throughout the film was, “what is the reason” “what was the point”, in reference to the wars. As these three men were in the Vietnam war and Doc’s son was in the Iraq war, Doc says, “every generation has a war to go to”. The very sad truth is that this is accurate.