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Film / Last Flag Flying

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Last Flag Flying is a 2017 film by Richard Linklater. It is a remake of sorts to The Last Detail by the acclaimed New Hollywood director Hal Ashby, though it's officially an adaptation of the same-titled novel written by Darryl Ponicsan as an official sequel to the latter. Its three characters played by Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston are implied to be the same as the three characters in that film though they have different names from their spiritual predecessors, the similar one in the case of Fishburne's character.

In this film three main characters reunite after 30 years as the former film was set in early 70's while this one in 2003. They were all in the navy but since then their ways parted.


  • Brutal Honesty: Played straight and then averted:
    • Played straight when Sal forces the Marines to tell Doc the truth about how Doc's son was killed in Iraq (instead of dying in battle, he was getting food and drinks for his fellow soldiers when an Iragi came behind him and shot him in the head).
    • However, averted later when the two of them and Mule meet up with the mother of the Marine they had let die in Vietnam, and decide to go along with the lie she had been told; he had died saving his friends.
  • Cool Old Guy: All three of the leads.
  • Creator Provincialism: Averted. This is one of the few Richard Linklater films not to be set in Texas.
  • Dark and Troubled Past: For Larry during his term even though he only served two years instead of three.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Sal. While he’s loud, crude, and insensitive, he clearly cares about his old friends.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Despite not having been called it since Vietnam, Doc goes by the nickname with his friends instead of his real name Larry.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: Sal does this constantly.
  • Preacher Man: The character of Lawrence Fishburne turned into that.
  • Semper Fi: Sal and Mueller were in the Marine Corps as was Doc's son.
  • Sir Swears-a-Lot: Sal swears far more than Doc and Mueller ever do.
  • Spiritual Successor: To Last Detail
    • The character of Otis Young in Last Detail was credited GM 1 'Mule' Mulhall while the one played here by Laurence Fishburne is named Richard "Mullah" Mueller.
    • Larry Meadows becomes Larry "Doc" Shepherd
    • However Billy Buddusky played by Jack Nicholson here becomes Salvatore "Sal" Nealon
    • Richard Linklater has stated that the movie is not really meant to be a sequel to The Last Detail movie and is meant to be a straight up adaptation of the book Last Flag Flying.
  • The Vietnam Vet: All three of the leads.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Sandwich: Averted for the last slice of pizza which is shown lying lonely in the box and then is eaten by Salvatore while Larry refuses.