Movie Review: Last Flag Flying

The movie “Last Flag Flying” is not really a war movie, but rather a story about the aftermath of war depicted in a way I have never seen before. Three friends from the Vietnam War reunite after many years, leading to a road trip where they transport the son of one of them, who was killed in the Iraq War in 2003 to his hometown to be buried.

This movie has 4 major stars, starting with Steve Carell who is the father of the solder who is killed, Brian Cranston, a local bar owner and Laurence Fishburne who is now a preacher. The story is about the transition for the father of the young solder killed, played very well by Steve Carrel from the anger he feels towards the United States at first for losing his only child to an unjust war based on lies about “weapons of mass destruction”. Towards the end, he eventually coming to terms with his new reality of not only losing his wife to breast cancer a year earlier, but now his only son. War is hell and this story about how and why his son was killed in this story are typical of the aftermath of war.

One scene that impressed me the most was when Carell’s character insisted on seeing the body of his dead son, despite knowing in advance how horribly he died. There is some humor in this story mostly during the the road trip, mainly by Cranston’s character and excellent acting by all stars. There is a scene towards the end where the three men visit the mother pf one of their fallen friends from Vietnam, played by 93 year old Cicely Tyson and the conversation leads to a dilemma that represents another tragedy of war; do you tell a surviving loved one the real truth about how their son really died? Or do you spare their feelings to protect the memories they have of their son who was killed in action? The suffering because of War’s in this world is beyond all comprehension and for those who are left behind to rationalize the loss of someone so young and to always imagine what could have been is unbearable.

I thought this movie was very well produced, directed and acted and I recommend it.