Archive for the ‘Mel Gibson’ Category

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

 

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
May 2018
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  
  • Cannes Film Review: ‘Murder Me, Monster’
    A flock of sheep, fleeces and faces splattered with blood, mill around the camera in ovine alarm. The source of the blood is revealed: a young farmer standing among them, with an enormous spurting gash across her throat, so deep you can see tendons and perhaps even the white of bone. It’s a shocking image […]
    Jessica Kiang
  • Janet Jackson References #MeToo in Icon Award Speech at Billboard Music Awards
    Superstar and Billboard Icon Award recipient Janet Jackson made her stance on the MeToo movement clear during her acceptance speech at the awards show Sunday night, and thanked God for her artistic career. “I believe that, for all of our challenges, we live at a glorious moment in history,” she began, after performing her 1986 hit […]
    Erin Nyren
  • ‘Westworld’ Recap: Shogun’s Army Comes to Town
    Do not read on unless you’ve seen “Akane No Mai,” the fifth episode of the second season of HBO’s “Westworld.” “This is just the tip of Shogun world’s prick — an experience expressly designed for the guests who find Westworld too tame.” Thus we are introduced, courtesy of Lee Sizemore, to the hotly anticipated Shogun […]
    Daniel Holloway
  • Shawn Mendes, Khalid Joined by Parkland School Choir in Gun Control Statement at Billboard Awards (Watch)
    The Billboard Music Awards worked a delicate balance Sunday night between serious issues like school shootings, mental health and suicide, and the usual “Let me hear you make some noise!” awards-show fare. In the show’s second moment addressing the recent epidemic of school shootings — following Kelly Clarkson’s tearful introduction — Shawn Mendes and Khalid […]
    Jem Aswad
  • Chainsmokers and Halsey Honor Avicii at Billboard Music Awards
    Avicii, the beloved Swedish DJ and producer, was honored at the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night by The Chainsmokers and Halsey. Before presenting the award for Top Hot 100 Song of 2018 to Luis Fonsi for “Despacito,” the Chainsmokers’ Alex Pall and Drew Taggart told the thousands gathered at Las Vegas’ Grand Garden Arena […]
    Shirley Halperin