Hacksaw Ridge is a true story about a WWII combat medic named Desmond Doss, played by Andrew Garfield, who wouldn’t touch a weapon because of his religious beliefs against killing. He is credited with saving approximately 75 people in Okinawa by lowering them from the top of the ridge by a rope. The film was directed by Mel Gibson and from the makers of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ.
I understand that WWII was gruesome and gory but some of the images that they showed I found to be a bit excessive and unnecessary. They could have avoided showing someone’s feet literally getting blown out from under him leaving his legs shredded like string cheese. It just seemed like they tried to see how gross they could make it look at times.
I didn’t particularly like the ending scene where Doss was being lowered on a stretcher down from the ridge. I thought the cinematography of that scene didn’t fit in with that of the rest of the film.
Great, since that is out of the way let’s talk about all of the good stuff. This was without a doubt the best war movie I have ever seen. The acting was superb in my opinion. Andrew Garfield should and will be up for an Oscar nomination for Best Actor because of his awesome performance. In addition, I really admired the jobs done by Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington as army Captains.
The first 45 minutes or so of this movie is primarily background and normally that would be a bad thing. However, this time is 100% a positive aspect to the movie. You learn about his relationship with each member of his family and also about what sparked his devotion to God. His faith could have easily been a subject of controversy in this film but they did and awesome job in making it a vital piece of the story while not letting it take anything away from the movie in the process.
The most important component that made this movie as good as it was is the fact that throughout a very stressful and intense movie, the mood was consistently lightened by comedy. I honestly feel like I would’ve come out of the theater with an entirely different feeling had I not been compelled to laugh so many times throughout the entirety of this action packed film. The first scene with Vince Vaughn is absolutely hilarious and really did a great job introducing all of the important fellow soldiers that we needed to get to know at the same time.
Aside from the excess in gore, the war scenes were all great. It really put you right into the middle of it. I genuinely felt the intensity, adrenaline and fear that the characters were all displaying on the screen. The cinematography for the movie as a whole was absolutely beautiful. They somewhat manage to make the barrenness and destruction of the battlefield aesthetically pleasing. Also, the scene where he just continually goes back onto the battlefield to try to save more wounded Americans (and even a couple Japs, they didn’t make it) just brought me chills. The genuine bravery, perseverance and courage that he showed will be an image that I remember for a long time because of how well it was portrayed by the film.
The last thing I feel the need to mention is how well, it seems, that the movie did on sticking to the true story. The footage of him talking at the end about some of the events that were portrayed in the movie really did a lot to add credibility to it. It just made the audience as a whole go “Wow, it really did happen like that.”. I did a little research into the actual story and sure, there were certain intricacies that were off but everything major and even most of the details seemed to be accurate. Even the double loop knot that Doss seemed to accidentally discover in basic training that ended up saving all those people is legitimate.
This is not a movie for the faint of heart and it’s definitely not a movie for the faint of stomach, but if you can handle an action and gore packed war movie and a couple of jump scares, I’d say this is a movie you won’t wanna miss. The first movie I have seen in a long time that I am willing to call an insta-classic. Seriously, it’s that good.