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Last Flag Flying

Doc (Steve Carell), Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Richard (Laurence Fishburne) fought together in Vietnam, and each has carved out a very different life for himself. Doc brings the three together and asks them to go with him to bury his son, who was killed in Iraq. Overall, I liked the film. The three actors do a wonderful job playing their characters. Through its dialog, the movie wrestles with questions of war, patriotism, and loss. This film is the latest from Richard Linklater. I think he was trying to achieve the ease of conversation that takes the listener into places of deep thinking and reflection; however, I don’t think he was successful. There are some profound moments, but very few of them. There are some parts involving military personnel that (as a former military man) I thought were contrived and not faithful to how they would have acted in similar situations. There are a couple of story lines that develop, but they are never satisfyingly resolved and leave too many questions that might otherwise bring depth to the lives of these three men. I give the film a thumbs-up, as the topic is interesting and the acting strong; however, the movie never achieves the depth that would make it a great or even very good film. This is not one of Linklater’s best.

About Gary Burkholder

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