Flags of Our Fathers (2006) – REVIEW

by Jordache Wee

Release Date: October 20, 2006
Directed by: Clint Eastwood
Music by: Kyle Eastwood, Clint Eastwood, Michael Stevens
Starring: Ryan Phillippe, George Grizzard, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery, Barry Pepper, Jamie Bell, Paul Walker, Robert Patrick, Neal McDonough, Harve Presnell, Melanie Lynskey, Thomas McCarthy, Chris Bauer, Judith Ivey, Myra Turley, Joseph Michael Cross, Benjamin Walker, Alessandro Mastrobuono, Scott Eastwood, David Patrick Kelly

A complex series of flashbacks from the past and present about the  seven United States Marines of the 28th Marine Regiment, 5th Marine Division, Sergeant Mike Strank (Barry Pepper), Private First Class Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford), Private First Class Ira Hayes (Adam Beach), Corporal Harlon Block (Benjamin Walker), Private First Class Franklin Sousley (Joseph Michael Cross), Sergeant Hank Hansen (Paul Walker), and Private First Class Ralph Ignatowski (Jamie Bell), as well as their Navy Corpsman, PhM2. John Bradley (Ryan Phillipe). who raise the iconic flag-raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima.

However, only three survived and they were Gagnon, Hayes and Bradley. And they were told by their superiors to stage the same scene that they did to raise the flag in the middle of the stadium for the thousands of Americans who is looking up to hope.

The military officials suggested that the iconic picture has given hope to every American citizens and that they have viewed the three as national heroes. Using the picture to sell to the public, the military need money to fund more ammunition and weapons. Although, Hayes did requested to return his unit or any other regiments to help fight the war was rejected.

Pharmacist's Mate Second Class John Bradley (Ryan Phillipe) and Corporal Rene Gagnon (Jesse Bradford)

Hayes did not want to be part of the picture because he find himself not worthy to deserve the award to be called as a hero. The only reason he survived was not to get shot. During that time, he confessed that his best friend, Strank was the real hero.

Therefore the iconic picture that is now part of history was actually the second picture taken when they lost the first picture. One of the man who puts up the flag was Corporal Harlon Block and not Sergeant Hank Hansen.

Hayes feels worthless and guilty over the picture that he was also drunk and despised by racists because he is Indian. One day, after released from prison he walks 30,000 miles from Arizona to Texas, just to inform Block’s parents about the iconic picture that one of them is really is their son.

Reviewer’s Note:
Flags of our fathers is a story on Battle of Iwo Jima. The island that the Japanese has tried to defend but were outnumbered by the American’s battle ships and infantries.

Although outnumbered, the Americans too suffered thousands of casualties due to the guerilla warfare by the Japanese.


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