First Look At The Last Detail “Sequel”

Of any movie that I have seen for the first time within the last five or so years, none has made as much of an impression as Hal Ashby’s The Last Detail. That flick is perfect to me, and I can watch it over and over and never get tired of it. So, when I heard that Richard Linklater was adapting The Last Detail sequel, Last Flag Flying, I couldn’t wait to get a look at what he was going to do with the film adaptation.

The first most obvious thing is that Jack Nicholson, Otis Young (who passed away in 2001), and Randy Quaid are not returning for this film. Instead, we have Bryan Cranston, Larry Fishburne, and Steve Carrel playing the characters. Thus, while this is a sequel, I see it more as a “sequel”, if you know what I mean. All three of the new actors seem to be doing there own thing with the characters, which is completely fine by me. My expectations for the film were that Linklater was going to be doing an adaptation of the second book more than making a sequel to the 1973 film, and the trailer to me says that is what it is going to be. If you didn’t know that this was a follow up to The Last Detail, you would have no idea that this isn’t a standalone film, by the way this trailer is selling the movie. Furthermore, the description of the film just says that these three characters “served together in the Vietnam War”, though anyone familiar with the ’73 film knows that it’s more complex and interesting than that (of course they may have changed all that to make this film really standalone). But, it is hard not to see the obvious references to The Last Detail here, what with the set up of the train scene, the shots in the bar, and Cranston smoking a cigar in his underwear, on what one can assume is a motel bed.

As for the trailer itself, there certainly isn’t anything groundbreaking about it, but at least it doesn’t give away too much of the film. It simply lays the groundwork for what we are going to see, and then plays a fitting (if not on-the-nose) Neil Young song over top some select scenes. The big thing I get from the trailer, is that we can expect this to fit perfectly in Linklater’s filmography, and if you are familiar with the man’s filmography, you know that can only mean good things. I look forward to this film’s release on November 3rd, though it is apparently in “select theatres” on that date, so we might have to wait longer than that to see it.


“Look into the eyes of a FilmApe and you will see real stupidity. It is a kind of bottomless stupidity, a fiendish stupidity. They are the most horrifying, cannibalistic and nightmarish creatures in the world.” - Werner Herzog

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