Lucky for me, I had the honour to check out Hacksaw Ridge during an advanced screening prior to its release. Ever since I heard Mel Gibson had returned to sit in the director’s seat, I have been more than passionate to see this film the 1st chance I could.
This film is based on a true story of a man named Desmond and the fellow men that fought on Hacksaw Ridge.
Set during WWII, an American Medic Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) chooses to serve during the Battle of Okinawa. Desmond refuses to kill people (or even carry a weapon). The film does carry a focus on Demond’s beliefs as a Christian and trying to honour the Lord’s commandment “Thou Shall Not Kill”.
In American history, Demond was awarded the Medal of Honour.
Without spoiling everything, I want to voice the fact that I found this movie to be incredible. Mel Gibson has delivered a film that some would claim is his best work since Braveheart (1995). In regards to our lead actor, this is the best film I have ever seen the actor Andrew Garfield do in his whole career (I’m telling you right now, forget The Amazing Spider-Man). The film is also loaded with an outstanding Aussie cast including Hugo Weaving, Richard Roxbury, Rachel Griffiths & Sam Worthington. Worthington was for me the weakest cast member in the film. Funnyman, Vince Vaughan also carried a solid performance in the film that reminds the cinema crowd that he still knows the pull of a dramatic performance when the time arises.
There are two things I’m thankful for in this film.
1. War movies based on a true story should never be a silly action film. This film stays true to the war theme and honours the men that gave their lives during the war. The film does have many graphic scenes which I would compare to the film Saving Private Ryan (you have been warned).
2. The story in the film has great pacing- it’s fast and never dull. The film also doesn’t drag with corny talk like we have witnessed in war films such as Pearl Harbour. The chemistry between our two male and female characters is also very convincing and provides a very strong performance.
Hacksaw Ridge is a film that I highly recommend to any person. The film is encouraging to stand firm in what people believe in and hearing the story of one man who changed the lives of many without the use of a gun is very powerful.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden