THE GIANT KILLER
Rome GA Film Festival 2017
A police officer investigates the mysterious life of a homeless veteran.
Several years ago, Miami police officer David Yuzuk met and befriended Richard Flaherty, a diminutive homeless man who eventually revealed that he was a Special Forces soldier involved in dangerous missions for the US government in Vietnam and beyond. Soon after Flaherty began to confide in Yuzuk, he was killed in a hit-and-run incident. Inspired to find the truth behind the late man’s stories, the amateur filmmaker contacts Flaherty’s family members, fellow veterans, and others from the community who had come to know him. In the process, he confirms many of his unlikely tales, including how he was allowed to enlist in the US military despite his small size and became a decorated Green Beret captain, and offers speculation on other, apparently still classified aspects of his career, such as Flaherty’s frequent international trips to dangerous locations during the time he was homeless, which the vet claimed were as a military consultant. Despite the tantalizing elements of his subject’s life story, Yuzuk unfortunately struggles to create an engaging film. Possessed of scant footage of his subject, he employs cheesy re-enactments, and is over-reliant on long-winded anecdotes and narration, all set to a distracting score, making this of limited appeal.