“WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people and becomes the first Conscientious Objector in American history to be awarded the Medal of Honor.”
Finally, Mel Gibson has come back to the director’s chair after 10 years since Apocalypto and I was beyond excited to know that he’d be doing a WWII film. My expectations for this film were high simply because this was the man who gave us Braveheart. Braveheart is a cinematic masterpiece that executes everything an incredible film should contain superbly.
His other films such as Passion Of The Christ and Apocalypto, although maybe not the best films, are both impressively directed. The trailer for Hacksaw Ridge showcased that this narrative was inspirational and the cast bringing it to life looked impeccable. Let’s get started!
I loved the entire story because it moved me. I never knew about Army Medic Desmond T. Doss and to learn about his achievement was nothing short of incredible. Just the very idea that he never wanted to hold a gun and fire a single bullet hooked me.
His journey was not only about the physical war in combat, but also about his personal war with his own men that beat him down for his own beliefs. I was invested and cared from beginning to end. This was one of the the closest depictions of how terrifying war can be. The battle segments were horrifying and gruesome so be prepared if you have a soft stomach.
Andrew Garfield deserves an Academy Award nomination for this role because I truly believed he was this innocent man with an enormous heart. I could feel the passion he gave in each scene with full emotional commitment. It really impressed me and I’ll be watching any film he works on.
Hugo Weaving almost stole the entire film with his performance. WOW, it was extremely impactful. His role is minor, but it’s extremely vital to the development of Doss and the themes of the film, which deals with PTSD. I loved his performance so much that in my heart, he has won that Academy Award for supporting actor already.
Teresa Palmer can ACT! I was really surprised earlier with her previous performance in this year’s Lights Out, but the range she was able to bring to her character in this movie was far superior. This is the greatest performance of her career.
Those were the three standout performances, but the entire cast was flawless. Mel Gibson knows how to pick his actors and push them beyond their limits.
I loved the messages expressed in Hacksaw Ridge. The main theme I got most was to stand up for what you believe in, even when everyone else is telling you it’s wrong. It really reminded me of Captain America’s arc in Civil War, except this was a real person.
Desmond Doss wanted to serve the people of the country he loved while staying true to his own faith. One of my favorite quotes from the film is when he says,”While everybody is taking life, I’m going to be saving it.” He did not want to kill, which happens inevitably in any war, but it’s the conflict and consequences of that choice which makes the themes very interesting to reflect upon.
The other main theme I noticed was the repercussion of war, which is Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The act of killing others is not something one can absorb normally, unless they become numb to it. Even when numb to that inhumane action, it’s difficult to come back to reality. This is something we all should be aware of and hopefully make a progressive effort to prevent our veterans from taking their own lives away. Each day, 22 veterans commit suicide as a result from PTSD. They need our help.
The only negative I had with this film was the ending. This film was over two and a half hours and went by so quickly so I understand they probably needed to cut out a lot of the conclusion. I was expecting some scenes at the end that would have been extremely rewarding between certain characters, but never got them. However, that doesn’t hurt the film for me.
Another minor negative I had was Vince Vaughn. At times, I felt like he was just shouting, but I began to appreciate his performance and character a lot more throughout the film. Also, his character brought a refreshing, subtle comedic relief which I thoroughly enjoyed!
GO SEE THIS FILM! The acting, the story, the themes, the music, the war segments, the direction, and the dialogue are all exceptional. This deserves to be seen on the big screen and is my favorite film of the year so far. I hope you love it as well and Happy Veterans Day. My rating for this film is 10/10! 🙂