Hacksaw Ridge – Five Reasons You’ll Love It
There are maybe a handful of directors capable of executing epic, full-scale, multi-faceted, hundreds-strong battle scenes on film. Mel Gibson is one of them.
The Braveheart and Passion of The Christ director brings that unique skill very much to bear in new wartime drama Hacksaw Ridge, which is in cinemas now.
The movie is a biopic of real-life American soldier Desmond Doss, who in WWII refused to carry or fire guns, citing his Seventh-day Adventist faith. Doss nevertheless went on to become an army medic and to save some 75 soldiers during the horrific Battle of Okinawa, literally dragging them off the battlefield.
Doss became the first conscientious objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor. And his story has been in development almost ever since.
Hacksaw Ridge’s battlefield scenes are suitable eye-popping, and Gibson’s limited use of CGI makes the whole thing seem palpable. Yet the story spins on the axis of Private Doss, whose conviction in the face of systemic (and sanctioned) bullying is as powerful as the battle scenes that envelop him.
As Hacksaw Ridge hits the big screen (you can pre-order it on the right-hand side of the page now too), we offer five of the many compelling reasons it’s worth a look.
Those mammoth battle scenes…
The scope and spectacle of hundreds of soldiers engaged in hand-to-hand combat is jaw-dropping and not for the faint of heart. You can practically smell the scorched flesh.
Andrew Garfield… superstar?
Much of Hacksaw Ridge’s cast is Australian – it was shot mainly Down Under. That the title role went to an American is understood but who knew The Amazing Spider-Man star could successfully carry a whole film? Gibson evidently. Garfield is a revelation as the soft-spoken, gentle-hearted Doss who displays heretofore unknown backbone at the worst moment of his entire life. Garfield’s range is impressive.
The supporting cast is also great…
Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and relative newcomer Teresa Palmer – as Doss’s military commanders, his parents and his love interest, respectively - soar.
The faith aspect is not overplayed…
Doss’s religious convictions were the impetus for his actions and should be spotlighted. But Gibson doesn’t beat us over the head with it. For that we are truly grateful.
The final reel…
The audience gets to meet the real-life players, including the ebullient Doss who died in 2006. It’s moving stuff and reason enough to stay to the very end.