Review: Flags of Our Fathers

Filed under: Reviews

This is not the first war movie Clint Eastwood has been involved with, but it is the best. It is not, however, a movie John Wayne would have starred in.

It deals with the battle of Iwo Jima in the Pacific. Thousands of soldiers lost their lives there.

The movie has some startling battle scenes. Those scenes reminded me of the ones in Saving Private Ryan. That's not surprising when you consider Flags was co-produced by Steven Spielberg.

The battle for Iwo Jima happened in 1945. Obviously there was no internet, no computers, and no television. So, when six soldiers are photographed putting up the American flag, it becomes a rallying cry for America: support the war, buy bonds, raise billions of dollars. That picture won a Pulitzer Prize.

The soldiers are paraded around like children from city to city to sell the war. These are reluctant heroes, especially Ira Hayes as portrayed by Adam Beach. He puts up with the "Chief" and "tomahawk" references. Again, it was a different time.

Beach delivers a terrific performance, but they all do: Ryan Phillippe and fellow Canadian Barry Pepper included.

This is truly a Clint Eastwood film. Not only did he direct, he co-produced and did the original music. (Mark my words, Clint is going to be big some day.)

Flags also has an impressive screenwriter: Paul Haggis, who wrote the Oscar winners Million Dollar Baby and Crash. Not a bad resumé. Look for Flags of Our Fathers at Oscar time.

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