I'd heard many grumblings from peers about this film but decided to give it a watch anyway, plus my girlfriend watched it too. Of course no film is perfect but then they wouldn't be films if they were. The reason i gave this a '9' was because it incorporated both action & a meaningful story, which is what i like in a War genre. There were a few scenes throughout the film that could have done with explaining how we got to that point, however in other scenes the confusion worked well to create atmosphere. All in all an awesome film which i, and my girlfriend, recommend to anyone who doesn't just want 'their' War film to be about action. Great storyline, some superb cinematography with a few lets downs here & there.
This film gets high marks for production values. It is a visual spectacle. The battles scenes in Iwo Jima are convincing, the scenes in the U.S. where the soldiers return to their home soil in the U.S. and are conned into "performing" for the government are well done period pieces. The performance by Adam Beach as the beleaguered Ira Hayes was poignant. It portrays exactly how your government can use returning veterans as propaganda as the "glory of war".However in other ways this film was confusing and poorly put together. There was a lack of continuity throughout. Scenes flowed with little connection, particularly the battle scenes. Aside from Ryan Philippe and Adam Beach the other characters were almost non-entities I could hardly tell one from the other.See the excellent documentary "The Tillman Story" for a modern day example of how the government distorts our veterans.
When the trailers for Flags of Our Fathers came out, a lot of people expected it to be Saving Private Ryan in the Pacific. Fortunately for this viewer it was not, but I think that is why it did not meet people's expectations. Instead, this adaptation of James Bradley's outstanding book focused on a facet of war rarely explored by Hollywood, the manufacturing of heroes by propagandists and its impact on the unlucky soldiers who are thrown into the limelight.The film focuses on three soldiers who were photographed raising the American flag at Iwo Jima, John Bradley, Ira Hayes, and Rene Gagnon. The photograph became a sensation at home, and the three soldiers were recalled to become the centerpiece of war bond rallies. The only problem is, they were not the first soldiers to raise a flag. Another group of men raised a smaller flag, but a high ranking general wanted to keep it as a memento, so the three main characters were told to raise an even bigger flag, and this time it was…