Letters From Iwo Jima

Rated NR

Director Clint Eastwood’s second World War II film of 2006 (the first being Flags of Our Fathers) is a much better offering. It depicts the historic battle from the Japanese side, with Ken Watanabe delivering a tremendous performance as a general given the impossible task of protecting an island from Allied forces without the help of Japanese airpower. Eastwood and a mostly Japanese cast do a heartbreaking job of showing how hopeless the situation was; seeing a battle with American might as the enemy is actually quite terrifying. This film resonates more than Flags, which felt like a mishmash of current World War II movies. Letters feels like a more original work and is most certainly one of Eastwood’s best. Even though Flags was a somewhat inferior film, the two together result in quite an achievement for the director. The old guy isn’t slowing down any time soon, so it seems.

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