There are so many things that are great about Hacksaw Ridge that I didn’t know where to start. Here’s how good Hacksaw Ridge was, people were applauding once the movie was finished. While I didn’t applaud, I was with them. I have never heard that at my local cinema before. It’s a war movie that glorified the human spirit.
Andrew Garfield plays Desmond T. Doss who is a Seventh-day Adventist and enlists for w
ar duty during the second world war as a medic. The problem is that Doss is a conscientious objector to firearms and wants to save lives instead of killing. So it follows the true story on how he saved more than 70 lives during the Battle of Hacksaw Ridge.
Everything that was great about Hacksaw Ridge I think draws down to director Mel Gibson. He has helped the careers of every actor on the set with this movie. Every actor had a career peak that has sort of gone by the wayside and Gibson has put them back on the map at least in my mind.
Not a Single Bad Performance- Not Just the Actors
As a matter of fact, everyone did a great job, from the grip to the director. The script-writing was so brilliant that they even thought about passing one-liner that 99% of movies don’t pay attention to. Every line no matter how small and insignificant had some humanity or humor in it. By the end, you really feel like you know every single character.
To achieve the goal of making every character meaningful needs not just a great script but great actors too. Gibson gets the best out of Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Rachel Griffiths, Teresa Palmer and so many others that it is just so enthralling to have such an ensemble to bring their best foot forward and have so much chemistry that I struggle to see how it won’t win awards for best ensemble
Hacksaw Ridge firmly rests on Andrew Garfield’s shoulders. I think it’s tied with The Social Network as his best performance yet. He is so faithful to this character who is a conscientious objector to guns and fighting, yet enlists in war as a medic. He brings heart and enthusiasm to his performance to such an extent that I yearned for his triumph.
There were also nice surprises too. Vince Vaughn is a really funny guy in Hacksaw Ridge. The scene where his character is introduced as a military Sargent yelling at the Privates at their dorms was straight off Full Metal Jacket. His insults were so funny compared to the weird situations that arose. He was also good at parts where he needed to be dramatic. It’s been so long since I have seen him this funny or dramatic.
Oh so Violent and Oh so Good!
Finally, I have to praise the make-up and the stunt work for the final act in the movie. I must warn you, Hacksaw Ridge is more gory and violent than most war films that I know. I thought it would be because Gibson has also directed movies like The Passion of the Christ. The violence was hard to watch but immersive as well. The make-up guys and stuntmen did a very good job at pushing that envelope between extreme violence and exploitation.
Before watching I thought the movie was going to be great but not at that level. This movie beat Captain America Civil War,it beat Zootopia, and it even beat The Revenant. It is up there with some of the outstanding indie films that I have seen this year and I certainly didn’t expect that. I think it’s solidly in the tier 2 position on the best war films ever made ****3/4