Hacksaw Ridge Review
Mel Gibson returns to the director’s chair with a new project entitled Hacksaw Ridge starring Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving and more. Opens February 22.
It’s basically the story of 7th Day Adventist Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) who signs up to join the military during the height of World War II. Through it we get to see the horrors of war and at the same time restoration in our faith in humanity.
You see Doss didn’t just join the war, his strong principles have made it possible for him to go into active duty without the use of a gun (yeah, just like Batman, more spefically a Spider-Man who wants to act like Batman). And he knows what he wants and that’s to be a combat medic. So what’s Hacksaw Ridge? That’s the place where they are deployed and where Doss gets to put his faith and his luck to the test.
Andrew Garfield was amazing (no pun intended) here in ‘Hacksaw Ridge’. His Desmond Doss is filled with hope, optimism and conviction. His performance here is outstanding and while its not yet Oscar Award winning quality, you certainly can’t help to think that he’s definitely getting to that point in his career where he can kick ass. Every punch he throws, every frustrating look he gives, it not only paints a clear picture of the character but also makes us want to believe that there’s a person that enlisted in the army with this strong a faith.
Loved the supporting cast here as it totally adds star power and gravitas to this story Mel Gibson wants to tell. Hugo Weaving as Daddy Doss is haunting and convincing. He’s got this short monologue in the opening that pretty much shows us how soldiers are left scarred after their tour of duty. Then he does another oneupmanship in the court marshall scene with his onscreen son. Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington as Desmond Doss’ commanding officers also help with the story. Vince Vaughn as a not-so-asshole drill sargeant is also interesting. He sorely needs more roles like this.
Mel Gibson definitely returns to a position of power for Hacksaw Ridge. He took everything good about “We Were Soldiers” and adds in a more grounded story telling element here. So while we all have wishes of this or that character surviving, we also rebound back to Garfield’s Desmond Doss. The director doesn’t shy away on graphic violence too and he made a killing with how these visual effects panned out. Although I’m still unsure how that opening scene in that battle of Hacksaw Ridge worked out with that ‘dead’ G.I. Suddenly gaining consciousness and screaming alerting the Japanese forces of the new batch of soldiers that have gone up the ridge. That seriously creeped me out AND left me scratching my head. Still, visuals and storytelling treatment worked extremely well for Hacksaw Ridge.
The moral play is what makes Hacksaw Ridge such a strong film for me. We’ve got this guy who represents an unmovable object go and do something with his life then eventually meeting up with his unstoppable force. The film then shifts to what Doss would do with in this situation and how far he’s willing to bring up his cause and his principles in a place that’s pretty much hell on Earth.
Hacksaw Ridge is one of the better looking war movies we’ve seen in the past few years. Sure Dunkirk is poised to take that crown when it gets released but as of writing this, this currently has the crown.