Richard Linklater’s most recent film, Everybody Wants Some!!, was his most enjoyably “boys will be boys” feature since Dazed and Confused. The Oscar-nominated director will return to heavier material, however, in Last Flag Flying. Based on Darryl Ponicsan’s novel of the same name (a “sort of” sequel to his previous book, The Last Detail, which Hal Ashby adapted into a great, Jack Nicholson-starring film in 1973), the drama stars Steve Carell as Richard “Doc” Shepherd, a former Navy Corps veteran who reunites with two ex-Marines, played by Bryan Cranston and Laurence Fishburne, following the death of his son.
Here’s the official premise.
In 2003, 30 years after they served together in the Vietnam War, former Navy Corps medic Richard “Doc” Shepherd (Steve Carell) re-unites with ex-Marines Sal (Bryan Cranston) and Mueller (Laurence Fishburne) on a different type of mission: to bury Doc’s son, a young Marine killed in the Iraq War. Doc decides to forgo burial at Arlington Cemetery and, with the help of his old buddies, takes the casket on a bittersweet trip up the East Coast to his home in suburban New Hampshire. Along the way, Doc, Sal and Mueller reminisce and come to terms with shared experiences of the war that continue to shape their lives. Director Richard Linklater and author Darryl Ponicsan collaborated on the screenplay which follows the trio as they wrestle with the pangs of war both past and present.
Last Flag Flying premieres at the New York Film Festival on September 28 before getting an official release on November 3.