In the new movie, LAST FLAG FLYING, three middle aged Vietnam veterans reunite after not seeing each other for thirty years. The movie tells a powerful story that benefits greatly from the strong chemistry among three fine actors: Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell, and Lawrence Fishburn. They play the veterans whose lives were forever damaged by their experiences in the Viet Nam War.
Doc: You know what amazes me about you?
Sal: It could be anything. I’m a pretty amazing guy.
Doc: You turned the keys to your bar to the guy who’s asleep on your pool table. And then you jump in you car and you drive me to hell and gone and you don’t even know where we’re going.
It turns out Doc is taking Sal to see their other vet buddy. Sal is shocked to find him in the front of a Baptist church..
Mueller (preaching to a congregation): Ask the question. Am I willing to surrender to God?
Sal: What the hell happened to Mueller the Mauler? First class drinker, gambler?
Mueller is played by Lawrence Fishburne while it’s Steve Carell as Doc who looks up his old war buddies after his son has been killed in Iraq, but he doesn’t tell them about the death until he’s got them all together to ask them to come with him to receive the young man’s body.
It’s a request they can’t refuse since Doc spent two years in the brig after taking the rap for some serious wartime negligence they all were guilty of.
But Brayan Cranston as Sal, an irrepressible alcoholic with zero respect for authority, keeps stirring things up.
Sal: How did it happen that this boy was shot in the back of the head like a dog?
Colonel: He was a brave marine, credit to the corps and he served his country well.
The stone wall the Colonel puts up against reality angers Doc.
Doc: They sent him off to a god forsaken desert. Why? I’m takin’ Larry home.
Colonel: With all due respect, sir, he deserves to rest at Arlington…..You’re cutting off your nose to spite your face.
Sal: Did you look at these faces? They’ve already been spited.
The old veterans travel to Doc’s hometown with the son’s closest friend who tells them what really happened. He also offers some consolation and reminds them of the truth shared by all soldiers in senseless wars.
Friend: You get sent over there and it stops being about what you want or the war even. You’re there for your brothers. That’s all that really matters.
Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now. firstname.lastname@example.org