A fine cast – Bryan Cranston, Steve Carell and Laurence Fishburne – and a great director Richard Linklater fail to inject life into this look at patriotism and the American military.
Just as The Post serves as a meek prequel to All The President’s Men, this is a sequel of sorts to Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail, with Cranston in the role for which Jack Nicholson was Oscar nominated in 1973 – he lost to Jack Lemmon.
Carell mournfully visits Cranston in his dive bar, a blast from the past. Together they visit Fishburne, who’s now a preacher. They persuade him to join them on a mission to bury Carell’s son, a marine, like them, now returning from Iraq in a coffin for a hero’s burial.
Linklater is at his most languorous here, when perhaps a bit more zing is needed, and the black humour gets swamped by doleful reflection on how the country treats is veterans. The prevailing mood is one of disappointment, on and, unfortunately, off screen.
Last Flag Flying is released on the 26th January 2018.