Hollywood has created an art form out of road movies and in Last Flag Flying the form expands to include trains.
Steve Carrell gives a great performance as Larry, a widower and ex-marine whose son is killed in Iraq. With very little money he has to travel to Washington DC to collect his son’s body.
To do this, he enlists the reluctant help of two of his former marine buddies, Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) a preacher, and Sal (Bryan Cranston) an alcoholic bar owner.
There is a predictable element to the film in that the men start off antagonistic towards one another but end up as firm friends. There is also an obvious clash with military officials.
But this movie does have some wonderful moments and explores the past of these men in a sympathetic way. All three actors are great, and it is nice to see Carrell give a ‘straight’ performance. The film could have been sickly sweet, but it is actually full of heart and genuine emotion.
What lets Last Flag Flying down is it’s length, some scenes are superfluous and many of the conversations go on far too long.
If you have the patience though, the film is a heartfelt exploration of grief and reconciliation.
In cinemas 26th April 2018
Last Flag Flying
Starring: Steve Carell, Bryan Cranston, Laurence Fishburne
Directed by: Richard Linklater