Mel Gibson is a director who comes back every few years or so and just blows me away. In 2006, I was amazed by Apocalypto. I still watch that film from time to time because its so riveting, damning, and beautiful. When Hacksaw Ridge was announced I was excited. I tend to get very drawn into well made war films. I knew with Mel, I’d likely see and experience something that would be very worth the watch.
The film is about the real life story of Desmond T. Doss, an army medic who refused to hold a gun or fight the opposition during World War II in the Battle of Okinawa. His bravery, resolve, and willpower to save his fellow comrades makes for such an inspiring story, if projected successfully onto the screen. Andrew Garfield has had one hell of a year. To go fromthe lead in the atrocious Amazing Spider-Man films to starring in a Scorsese and Mel Gibson epic; its one hell of a leap. He’s faultless in this. Doss is a kind hearted simple man whose passion is to help those who are in dire need of help.
We are first subjected to young Doss growing up in a rather abusive household. We get to see how Doss had become a pacifist and how he met the love of his life. There is nothing with what is seen here. Its arguably slow, however its sweet and takes you back to a love story from WWII. Its good stuff. The film just keeps getting better from here. We then see Doss during training and how his lifestyle causes his infantry to turn on him in hate and disgust. He overcomes adversity and finally gets to the Battle of Okinawa.
Let me just tell you that Mel Gibson is an excellent visionary when it comes to depicting visceral action. Its completely necessary to show how a war truly is. Nothing is held back. Blood comes from everywhere, limbs fly off, guts are hanging out, heads are being blown off. Its intense but phenomenally shot. You are in the trenches experiencing the nightmare as it happens. Its the best show wartime action since Saving Private Ryan. I’m not going to lie, I came here for good war action sequences and was very impressed with what I saw.
Here’s a film with a few many characters and honestly they are developed decently. This is Doss’ story through and through but you love the connections with the people in his unit and how they all come around on him. Doss is a hero in its finest form. Its wonderful to witness his bravery and courage through a wonderfully shot, gripping, war epic. Mel Gibson hits the mark yet again.