Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) was an American soldier during World War II. He believed that the war was right, but that killing a living soul was wrong. He never carried a gun and never fired a bullet, but what he did for his country was more than anyone could have imagined. He saved 75 men at the battle of Okinawa and was praised for his bravery. Doss was the first conscientious objector to ever earn the Congressional Medal of Honor. Hacksaw Ridge is his story…
Directed by Mel Gibson (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ, Apocalypto), Hacksaw Ridge fits in well with Gibson’s other war films such as The Patriot and We Were Soldiers. This movie is told in 2 halves – the first half is about Doss’s background and how he managed to make it into the army with his non-violent beliefs, and the 2nd half of the movie is the war itself. Both halves compliment each other well and both paint a picture of who Desmond Doss was. Andrew Garfield does a fine job in the lead role and the supporting cast backed him up well. I think Vince Vaughn as the Drill Sargent was brilliant and he performs very well in a different role then we are use to. Sam Worthington and Hugo Weaving are other big names we see along the way who turn Hacksaw Ridge into a well-rounded film.
As far as a movie goes, the first half of the film can drag a bit, but the fine acting keeps you interested well enough. The movie could have been a tad bit shorter to give it a better pace, but the action at the end perks the audience back up. I wasn’t expecting this movie to be a violent and gory as it was, so be prepared for that, but it isn’t excessive and reminded me of Saving Private Ryan’s blood and guts level.
At the end of the day, Mel Gibson made a fine film in tribute to a true national hero and after the movie is over, some of the people who are still living add their memories to the credits. If you like true stories set during war, then this is not one to miss. Co-starring Hugo Weaving , Teresa Palmer, Luke Bracey, Sam Worthington Rachel Griffiths, Nathaniel Buzolic, Richard Roxburgh, Matt Nable, and Furass Dirani.
7/10 Stars – It might be a little long and stale in parts, but this tribute to Desmond Doss is a well-made and acted film.