‘Last Flag Flying’: Road trip film with heart, humor, and pathos

Without preaching, Linklater’s film has a subtle power and lightness

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What if I told you there was a road trip film about three Vietnam buddies that would make you laugh out loud as well as make you feel something?

Richard Linklater’s powerful ode to veterans young and old, Last Flag Flying, is that movie. A film that gets the job done by throwing three great actors together in a car and watching the sparks fly. Instead of pouring melodrama over the experience, Linklater and co-screenwriter Daryl Ponicsan (who wrote the novel the film is based on) go for the lightness that is often trapped in a dark situation.

Larry “Doc” Shephard (Steve Carell) has a mission ahead of him that ranks higher on the toughness scale than anything he did in Vietnam 30 years ago. He has to bury his 21 year old son, who has just perished in the war in Iraq. In order to keep it together, he recruits his Vietnam veteran buddies, Sal Nealon (Bryan Cranston, stealing every scene he’s in) and Reverend Richard Mueller (Laurence Fishburne). The only problem is, these men haven’t seen each other in decades, but that’s what the ride is for. Continue reading “‘Last Flag Flying’: Road trip film with heart, humor, and pathos”