The Last Full Measure grasps gritty intensity of Vietnam War


Hannah Kopek, Co-Editor-In-Chief

Todd Robinson’s “The Last Full Measure,” was a captivating and poignant two hour film that chronicled the efforts of several Vietnam War veterans and Pentagon staffer Scott Huffman (Sebastian Stan) to award the late William H. Pitsenbarger (Jeremy Irvine) a medal of honor.
Not only was this film a touching adaptation of true events, it also proved Sebastian Stan’s ability to helm a movie. This was his first lead role in a movie, and he stole the show. He managed to develop his character through a huge shift from unconcerned bureaucrat to an individual invested in the story of Pitsenbarger with the drive to honor his conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty, even if it put his career on the line.
The reality of the Vietnam War was incredibly apparent. Robinson pulled no punches with the graphic violence that occurred during Operation Abilene. The movie, which was rated R for language and war related violence, serves as a reminder of what happened in Vietnam. This movie may not be suitable for viewers who are sensitive to graphic depictions of blood and war wounds.
Most of the action occurred in the jungle set piece, which left a chance for the more subdued moments between the veterans and Huffman to shine through. It’s not a film about war, it’s about what happens after, centered around those impacted by the war.
Despite continually repeating that the events of the movie took place 30 years after the Vietnam War, placing it between 1996 and 1998, there was a general disconnect between time and place. The plot jumps from Washington D.C., to Ohio, and to Vietnam in the past and in the present. There was a clear distinction between the war flashbacks and the present day, but it was difficult to identify the differences between states. Since travel was such an integral part of the movie, having consistent location cards wouldn’t have hurt.
Overall, The Last Full Measure was a gritty and heartfelt film. Outstanding character development and relentless emotion saved this war movie from mediocrity. I give The Last Full Measure 4/5 stars.