Flags of Our Fathers (Clint Eastwood, 2006)

The idea and philosophy behind the thing is a fascinating one…debunking the mythic aura of perhaps the most famous image in American history and revealing it for what it amounted to: a chance for the military to exploit those involved, making them more of a commodity than the war bonds they were trying to sell.  And for much of the movie, Eastwood is at his best in portraying that contradiction of how we see and define a hero, and how that conflict between being seen as a hero and the exploitative fame that comes with it affects the “heroes” themselves.  With all that, though, is just as many moments that’re just hackneyed, preachy, and sappy (clearly Paul Haggis hasn’t slown down since writing Crash 😆 ), especially with that narration and finale that just shoves a message in your face.  This is a true story whose message should be obvious to any half-intelligent person watching, so it should just be presented as-is.  I’m trying to reserve a lot of judgment until I see Letters from Iwo Jima to get the whole picture, but I just have a feeling this could’ve been presented so much more naturally and fluidly.


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