LAST FLAG FLYING Cert 15 Running time 125 minutes Stars 4

Hit the road for a funeral in the company of three impeccably crafted characters.

With honest chemistry, mournful perception and tremendous ability, Steve Carell, Laurence Fishburne and Bryan Cranston play three former Vietnam war soldiers who reunite in 2003.

As Carell wrestles with the US government for ownership of his late son’s corpse, his companions squabble for influence over the grieving man’s soul.

A strength of Texan director and writer Richard Linklater is his never being afraid of making his characters at times unlikeable.

Moments of black comedy brings shade to the script’s deep sadness and humanity, and though strongly anti-war and anti-authority, this is a salute to comradeship and finding dignity and honour in the service of others.

This is an unofficial sequel to Hal Ashby’s 1973 drama The Last Detail, which saw Jack Nicholson Oscar nominated for best actor. And though the names have been changed, it’s interesting to see Cranston’s take on the same role.

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