Hacksaw Ridge is a 2016 biographical war drama film directed by Mel Gibson and written by Andrew Knightand Robert Schenkkan, based on the 2004 documentary The Conscientious Objector. The film focuses on the World War II experiences of Desmond Doss, an American pacifist combat medic who, as a Seventh-day Adventist Christian, refused to carry or use a weapon or firearm of any kind.
Based on the true story of Desmond T. Doss, the conscientious objector who, at the Battle of Okinawa, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his incredible bravery and regard for his fellow soldiers. We see his upbringing and how this shaped his views, especially his religious view and anti-killing stance. We see Doss's trials and tribulations after enlisting in the US Army and trying to become a medic. Finally, we see the hell on Earth that was Hacksaw Ridge.
Why It Rocks
- The film restores actor Andrew Garfield's career as an actor after the cinematic bomb that was The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- Stunning cinematography that is accompanied by really tense and fitting music that is also beautifully composed.
- Right away, the opening scenes portray the horror of war, and the emotional journey is only beginning as the audience is led through the story of war-hero Desmond Doss.
- Speaking of war sequences, Hacksaw possesses some of the most brutal and harrowing only made through the R-rating, reminiscent of the opening to Saving Private Ryan.
- The supporting roles add depth, with both script and performance making very few, if any, of the supporting characters two dimensional.
- Vince Vaughn's excellent turn as Doss' training sergeant provides both humor and pathos to bring laughs and pause- for-thought at well scripted points of the tale.
- The elements of conflict that draw the storyteller – the heroism of overcoming adversity, the bonding of soldiers, and the brave resolve on which soldiers must rely to perform their duty amidst such chaos and terror – these elements are all present, but they placed alongside the horror, the madness and the terror of war, and used to draw in the audience for Doss' journey.
- The lasting psychological impact for those who survive the conflict of the film is well told by Hugo Weaving's portrayal of Doss' father, whose lines could serve as a mouthpiece for many veterans.
- The heroism depicted in this story is of such an extraordinary magnitude that it can easily overwhelm any consideration of the film's merits.
- Hacksaw Ridge is not a film for the faint-of-hearted or some with a weak stomach.