The film is based on the true story of William H. Pitsenbarger, a Vietnam war hero and US Air Force Pararescuemen who had been denied the Medal of Honor for his sacrifice. Set thirty-two years after his death, the film follows Scott Huffman, a staffer at the Pentagon, who seeks out the various testimonies of those who served alongside Pitsenbarger during the Vietnam War. But upon learning this information, Huffman uncovers a conspiracy regarding the issuance of Pitsenbarger’s rightful award that has jeopardized and tainted the integrity of the fallen war hero for years.
The Last Full Measure explores Pitsenbarger’s valiant rescue of the many soldiers during Operation Abilene through the testimonies of the men he had saved. It offers a fresh and horrific perspective of what it truly feels like to be a soldier returning from war, as well as grant anyone who views the film a newfound respect for US soldiers both past and present.
While the story is compelling, as well as incredibly moving—especially for those who have served, or are related to someone who has—many scenes of violence and gore surround this film, which might not make it the ideal pick for a family movie. There are very realistic depictions of war, as well as PTSD, and many uses of curse words, such as the F-word and taking the Lord’s name in vain on multiple occasions.
The Last Full Measure, overall, offers a great deal of gratitude for military families and acknowledges the service of the many who have risked and given their lives for the sake of their country’s freedom. It may not be the best movie to take your kids to, but it is definitely one that older audiences can take away something meaningful from.
The Dove Take:
Stories about the wars of the past are always good selling points for those who like to learn from history, but as far as The Last Full Measure goes, it might need to be a piece of history that you save until your kids are a little older.