Monday, June 23, 2014

Film Review: Flags of Our Fathers

This is about as ambivalent to a film as I get.  Well crafted, well acted, a good story that educates its audience and questions authority in a way that you hardly notice it.  So what's wrong with it?

Well, there's no real tension in it.  We know the flag on Iwo Jima was raised, we learn early on in the film that those in the famous photograph are not the ones who originally raised it and were just "re-raising" it on a series of silly orders from a commanding officer.

Watching the surviving soldiers be paraded in front of the American public on a cross-country, whistlestop tour promoting the sale of US Bonds to fund the war effort just isn't a story that draws me in--though certainly portraying the US as being on the verge of bankruptcy and about to sue for peace with Japan because we couldn't afford any more equipment is something that I am unfamiliar with.

I do remain interested in watching the "sequel" to this film "Letters from Iwo Jima" which tells the story of the battle from the Japanese side.  On the face of it, the story of an overwhelmed force defending the island to the death and the courage showing the battle movements and how it unfolded greatly interests me.  Maybe this is what I missed in Flags of Our was far more about the generally mundane events surrounding a promotional tour driven by a photograph than it was about the battle itself.  Perhaps I was looking for more "action" and didn't get it as what battle scenes there were seemed rather dry.

I have no major complaints about it and no great praise for it.  It stirred no emotion or excitement.  I can't really spend any more time talking about it as I don't have much to say...its like elevator music...its just, there.

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