Mel Gibson has put together what is basically an Australian film, revealing in the extra materials that he is looking for heightened truth to achieve clarity. And indeed, everything here is writ large - from the beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains (or convincing Australian substitutes thereof), to the awe-inspiring wonder and purity of the love interest in the film between Desmond Doss (as superbly played by Brit Andrew Garfield) and Dorothy Schutte (played with total commitment by a simply exquisite Teresa Palmer), to the spectacle of the drunken-aggressive-shellshocked apparently-hopeless WWI veteran that is Doss's father stepping back into uniform and pulling himself together to save his son from court-martial; and through to some of the strongest and most trully appalling battle scenes you have ever seen - in what is an amazing and shocking contrast with the earlier part of the film, if only a confirmation of the message about war Doss received from his broken father (here played wonderfully by Hugo Weaving). And yet, as the credits approach and we see the real-life versions of the characters portrayed in the film, we know that truth is indeed being presented here, a truth that committed Christian Gibson is trying to tell us is also the truth of God - and 7th Day Adventist-conscientious objector Doss would certainly have no doubt about that; and he went to Okinawa refusing to fight or touch a weapon, yet determined to be with his comrades in the absolute heat of battle, and to save lives - which he did indeed do, again and again and again and again. Seeing the recreation of the Hacksaw Ridge slaughter one might anticipate that literally nobody could get out alive, and - since not every battlefield was fortunate enough to have had its Desmond Doss - a further behind-the-scenes star of this film is of course the one called "Enola Gay" - somewhat sad (if inevitable) to think of that given the bravery and heroism in the midst of the slaughter, but slaughter it undoubtedly was. Ultimately, intolerable slaughter.Needless to say, the portrayal of Doss's military training is an uncomfortable one for the viewer, yet there are truly magnificent scenes when Officers, Sergeants and men first begin to get an inkling of the man of true, stubbornly steadfast conviction they are dealing with. The way the behaviour begins slightly to change in the direction of first admiration is immaculate acting in and of itself, most especially from Vince Vaughn as Sgt. Howell. Yes, really, this is that Vince Vaughn, and what he produces here is an absolute peak of achievement.Once again, "Hacksaw Ridge" draws inspiration (potentially even divine inspiration) from its utterly amazing subject-matter. Perhaps it would indeed be difficult to make a bad film out of this story. But in the hands of Gibson, some really great actors and special effects guys absolutely going above and beyond anything you can think of, this film is a moving, awe-inspiring, shocking TRIUMPH. Required viewing, if far from easy to view!
Your amazing war movie and Mel's "triumph" would cramble to pieces if the japs were not just some stupid screaming heathens and one of them had actually cut the rope ladder with his katana... How do you proceed to make a big budget movie like this when your whole story is based on this weak concept?I watched it with 4 more people and the question was the same from everyone... Why they don't cut the rope? P. S. Hugo Weaving's performance was once again superb.
... to support others killing so that he doesn't have to. Like atheists who can only prosper among nations of believers, pacifists seem determined to remain uncomprehending and ungrateful to those who do the unpleasant task of fighting against others who would take their property, nation, family and and life. Somehow, this makes pacifists noble, in some people's estimation. Even those who go to war thinking it's glorious are quickly disillusioned - but that doesn't mean that they abandon violent force.The one credit I'll concede to this film-making effort is that the perfect casting was done for the lead actor. Nothing else about this film is remarkable.