A heartfelt film about one of WWII’s most peaceful men.

Hacksaw Ridge
 tells the story of 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 Honour.

For a very long time, Mel Gibson was shunned by the people and is shuffled between Australia and America’s claiming of him, however, in realising of this film, it doesn’t mean that all things are forgiven. It is a very good film, gritty and bloody and gruesome, but it’s not all that Oscar buzz that has been hovering around it.

There are a lot of films about the second world war. It’s not hard to name a few off the top of your head – Saving Private Ryan, Apocalypse Now … If a film is to be made about the second world war, or even the first world war, or even war in general, there has to be something that set’s your particular film apart. Despite it not being on that brilliant, level, there is something that set’s this film apart.

Going into Hacksaw Ridge, I knew nothing of the person in which the film was based upon. I had seen a trailer but the only thing I had really heard about the film was that it was apparently Mel Gibson’s comeback film after being out of the industry for the better part of ten years, especially from behind the camera. He hadn’t done a decent film, if he had at all, in a very long time. This film shows the fact that Gibson is still a great director, and maybe should consider continuing down that path as the film provides a compelling viewing despite the pinch of salt that should be taken considering the man this film came from. Just because he made a good film doesn’t mean his actions shouldn’t be forgotten.

Andrew Garfield’s Desmond Doss is the first Conscientious Objector to be awarded the Medal of Honour after saving 75 of his comrades under enemy fire, despite refusing to kill or even carry a rifle. If this doesn’t already gain your interest, it should. Although the film has its intense moments of war, there is a moment of peace and someone who should be admired and more widely recognised.

Garfield has always been someone who hasn’t been given the light he deserves because his acting chops are really that brilliant. Ever since I first saw him in Never Let Me Go, I knew he was always someone to watch. Setting aside the Amazing Spiderman films and the taste of comedy we got from him, he needs more roles to show how an amazing of an actor he is. He definitely made this film and holds it all together with a supporting cast that might throw you a little.

The supporting cast member who threw me a little was Vince Vaughn and it took me a moment to realise that it was him. In a war film. As an Army Sergeant. Out of all the supporting cast members, he was the one that didn’t fit the role he was given. He did well with what he had but still, it was an ill fit and I was always taken a little aback every time he was shown on screen. I’m not sure if he’s one of the comedy actors who could make that change between comedy and drama.

Hacksaw Ridge is a film that needs to be seen on the big screen as it sucks you in, holds you there, and spits you out the other end drained.

Film-O-Meter: 7/10.


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