The discussion below analyzes some important scenes in the two films thereby portraying the similarity and differences in the two.
The two films have simplistic yet realistic plots. The last detail, just as the name portrays shows laxity in the operations of marines as an executive officer of the marine sends two petty officers Billy "Badass" Buddusky and Richard "Mule" Mulhall to escort a young convicted prisoner Larry Meadows who is facing eight years imprisonment. The two officers travel from Norfolk Virginia to Portsmouth New Hampshire as they escort the prisoner and put him in one of the most adventurous journey of his life. When they arrive in Portsmouth, the soldiers learn that the executive officer had to cover the detailed paperwork and that the two had not been sent on any mission, at least not according to the paperwork. Coming home, on the other hand, is a love triangle. In the film, Sally is a wife of a soldier, Bob Hyde. When Bob goes on a mission in Vietnam, Sally meets and falls in love with Luke Martin her former classmate and a soldier returning from Vietnam. The story shows the adverse physical and psychological effects of war on the soldiers as the conflict between the three heighten.
The summary of the plots shows some preliminary similarities in Hal Ashby’s works. Both plots show the lives of soldiers. While one can argue that the occurrence is coincidental given the independence of both scripts, Ashby employs similar features in building the legitimacy of the story line. He uses appropriate characters who possess the physique and mental alertness of soldiers. Characters enhance the success of a film. Characters should possess the appropriate traits that help bring out the best in the personality required for every character. In The Last detail, he uses Jack Nicholson as "Badass" Buddusky, Otis Young