Thirty years after they served together in Vietnam, a former Navy Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with his old buddies, former Marines Sal Nealon and Reverend Richard Mueller, to bury his son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War.
In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Hospital Corpsman Larry "Doc" Shepherd re-unites with ex-Marines Sal and Mueller on a different type of mission: to bury Doc's son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire.Written by
Laurence Fishburne was the only actor Richard Linklater had in mind for the role of Mueller. See more »
In the funeral scene, Sal and Richard are wearing Marine Dress Blue uniforms but the cap ornament is set a bit high. See more »
If you could just see yourself right now. You look like you just had a lobotomy. What's wrong with you?
[sitting on his barstool]
This is reality.
Reality? My ass. It's all made-up. Let me ask you this, huh, how many times on this show have you seen the cops arrest, you know, killers and-and rapists or something like that? How many times did they slap the cuffs on some crooked CEO fuck?
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A hilariously profound film with three great lead performances.
Last Flag Flying is a comedy/drama from the acclaimed director of Boyhood and Dazed and Confused, Richard Linklater. It stars Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne, and Bryan Cranston as three friends from the Vietnam War who get back together when Carell's son dies in action.
Despite the serious subject matter, this movie is absolutely hilarious. Cranston is absolute comedic gold. He hasn't been as funny as he is here since his Malcolm in the Middle days, and even then he may not have been quite as funny as he is here.
You would think going in that Carell would be the comedian here, but instead he is the dramatic anchor. Carell gives a surprisingly emotional performance, keeping the comedy to a minimum.
Fishburne is between the two, giving both comedy and drama when it's needed. Of the three it is hard to say which gives the best performance, but the edge must go to Cranston. The movie would probably be ten times more boring without him. There are scenes where Cranston single-handedly made the entire audience in my theater howl with laughter.
Last Flag Flying doesn't just give comedy however, it also tackles a great amount of issues that a lesser film would not have pulled off. This film explores the purpose of life, a subject that Linklater is very good at tackling. I would list some of the other issues it tackles, but if I did i would probably be here all day.
This movie is definitely not perfect. Near the middle it starts to drag, which is not that large of an issue, but for one or two scenes it is noticeable.
There is also a very manufactured conflict in the film. It feels like the writers stuck it in just so there was a conflict of some sort, but it easily could have been taken out and the movie would not have changed.
Another issue involves tone. There are a couple scenes where I genuinely could not tell if the film was trying to be serious or funny, but this, like all of the other flaws, is not that big of a deal.
Overall, I recommend Last Flag Flying because of both its hilarity and its drama. It is one of the funniest movie of the year and very profound, despite its flaws.
I give Last Flag Flying a B+.
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