Conscientious Saviour

Hacksaw Ridge

Director: Mel Gibson

Cast: Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Luke Bracey, Sam Worthington, Rachel Griffiths, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn, Milo Gibson, Ben O’Toole

Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ director Mel Gibson has assembled a mostly Australian cast in the World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge about the Virginia conscientious objector Desmond Doss who refused to bear arms during the war against the Japanese. Doss is played by Andrew Garfield (The Social Network) in one of his best acting roles yet.

Hacksaw Ridge opens in The Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in the early 1930’s where young Doss and his brother are constantly engaged in fraternal rivalry while their drunken father Tom played by Hugo Weaving (The Dressmaker) mourns the loss of his friends in the Great War and beats their mother Bertha played by Rachel Griffiths (Muriel’s Wedding).

As a practicing Seventh Day Adventist, Desmond from a young age takes a vow against violence yet is compelled to join the army soon after the Japanese attack Pearl Harbour. His romantic life is heightened when he meets Nurse Dorothy Schutte, a wonderful supporting role played by the gorgeous Teresa Palmer (Point Break, I am Number Four) which he soon proposes to.

While the first act of Hacksaw Ridge is taken up with establishing a credible back story of Desmond Doss, his religious beliefs, family and brief courtship, it’s really the second act of the film that captures audience’s attention as Doss undergoes basic military training under the supervision of Sgt Howell played by Vince Vaughn (Into The Wild, The Internship) and Captain Glover played by British actor Sam Worthington (Avatar, Clash of the Titans).

When it comes to target practice, the rest of the soldiers including a handsome Smitty Ryker played by Luke Bracey (The November Man) and Lucky Ford played by Gibson’s son Milo Gibson are all eager to take up arms to defend their country, while Doss completely refuses to hold a rifle on the grounds that he is a conscientious objector.

After a military inquiry into whether Doss can still serve in the armed forces without bearing arms, the action swiftly moves into the third act, the dreaded battle sequence at Hacksaw Ridge, on the island of Okinawa, a battle so gruesome that many of his fellow soldiers are killed instantly as the ruthless Japanese attack the Americans without restraint.

Director Gibson excels in the battle sequences of Hacksaw Ridge as a combination of frenetic sound editing, utter brutality and emotional tension is vividly captured as the soldier bravely battle a more sophisticated and disciplined opponent. As the battle for Hacksaw Ridge continues, many American soldiers are left wounded, easy prey for the bayonets of the Japanese soldiers.

Doss in this terrifying battleground questions his own convictions and has a crisis of faith amidst bullets whizzing past him and bodies rotting in shallow graves.

Hacksaw Ridge was indeed a vicious battle of attrition, but Doss realizes that if he can save as many wounded American soldiers as possible then perhaps the American military might recognize his true valour and bravery.

In terms of recreating one of the most gruesome battles of the Pacific Theatre of World War II, Hacksaw Ridge is an excellent film comparable to similar war classics like Steven Spielberg’s Oscar winning Saving Private Ryan and Oliver Stone’s Platoon.

Historically accurate, Hacksaw Ridge superbly retells the unbelievable story of Desmond Doss, the first Conscientious Objector who was in a battle and received the Medal of Honour without firing a single shot. This is highly recommended viewing and judging by its critical claim, Hacksaw Ridge will have a cult following for lovers of genuine war films.

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Desmond_Doss

 

Comments are closed.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
January 2017
M T W T F S S
 1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
3031  
  • Biden’s Antitrust Squeeze May Grease the Wheels for TV Deals (Column)
    The Biden administration made a statement earlier this month when the Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit to block the $2.1 billion sale of Simon & Schuster. Merrick Garland’s body block of the deal that ViacomCBS struck with Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House sends the message that the White House is paying attention to the pace […]
    Cynthia Littleton
  • Disney’s ‘Encanto’ Leads Muted Thanksgiving Box Office, ‘House of Gucci’ Lands Impressive Debut
    Disney has reclaimed its rightful place at the top of Thanksgiving box office charts. “Encanto,” the studio’s new animated musical fable, collected $40 million since Wednesday, a robust tally at a time when family audiences haven’t been eager to return to cinemas. It’s become holiday tradition for Disney to release a family friendly movie around […]
    Rebecca Rubin
  • Domenico Procacci on Making Directorial Debut With Davis Cup Docuseries ‘The Team,’ Trailer (EXCLUSIVE)
    Italian producer Domenico Procacci, after shepherding more than 100 movies and several TV series, including Netflix’s upcoming Elena Ferrante adaptation “The Lying Life of Adults,” via his Fandango shingle, is debuting as a director with six-part documentary series “The Team.” Variety speaks to Procacci exclusively about what prompted him to go behind the camera for […]
    nvivarelli
  • BTS Lights Up L.A.’s SoFi Stadium on Night One of Permission to Dance Tour
    BTS kicked off its four-night takeover of Los Ang’s SoFi Stadium on Saturday night with a much-anticipated sold-out show that thrilled tens of thousands of proud Army who packed into the venue. The two-hour set, for the boy band’s Permission to Dance On Stage tour, was rife with confetti, smoke, pyrotechnics and — of course […]
    Angelique Jackson
  • ‘Dying to Divorce’ Review: A Sobering Documentary That Scrutinizes Turkey’s Femicide Problem
    “Dying to Divorce” begins and ends with an onscreen counter, ticking over as rapidly as a zealous taxi meter — if only it were measuring anything so banal. Instead, it’s a representation of Turkey’s appalling rate of femicide over recent years, the screen below the counter filling up with the names of women murdered by […]
    Guy Lodge
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90