Director: Mel Gibson
Distributor: Splendid Film
Duration: 139 minutes
Hacksaw Ridge (Blu-ray) – Movie Review
There are movies that rely more on science-fiction subjects, while others find their inspiration from true stories. In Hacksaw Ridge, director Mel Gibson shows the story of a brave young man in the second World War. If you’re looking for some action while also delving into history, be sure to read on and discover this title.
We’re taken back to the years before the second World War. A young Desmond Doss (Darcy Bryce) and his brother ‘Hal’ (Roman Guerriero) are two energetic and lively boys with the usual sense for some mischief now and then. Their father Tom (Hugo Weaving) has served in the first World War and it is rather obvious he is still scarred by these events. He shows anger issues and tends to reflect this on his family. One day, his two sons are fighting and instead of breaking them up, he gives them some tips. Things go bad rather quickly and Desmond almost kills his brother. Due to this shocking incident, he turns to his religion and especially the commandment ‘Thou shalt not kill’. After some years, Desmond (Andrew Garfield) helps an injured man to the hospital, meeting the lovely nurse Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer).
Eventually, World War II starts and our young protagonist wants to serve his country as a medic. Still being true to his religion and commitment to God, he refuses to take up any weapon nor shoot bullets. Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn) and Captain Glover (Sam Worthington) think that he doesn’t belong in the army and they do their best to get rid of him. Although Desmond’s determination and willpower are quite solid, the question remains if it would be enough to earn his spot in his squad.
This movie will keep you clustered to your screen for more than two hours and although this title might go a bit slow at times, it surely isn’t boring. At the beginning, you’ll get more than enough details about Desmond and his life before war, which is used as a base for the rest of the movie and will be presented multiple times throughout the second part. The pace increases a bit when his time in the army starts, which is a nice change. In the end, it doesn’t feel like there weren’t too much unnecessary elements added although there were some events during the fighting scenes that were a bit predictable. At the end of the movie, you actually have the feeling that you’ve witnessed an extraordinary story, especially knowing that this was based on true events.
At the start of the movie you might get the idea that some of the actors aren’t really fitting in this setting. For instance, Desmond Doss is performed by Andrew Garfield, which some of you might know from the recent Spiderman movies. With that aspect in mind, at the beginning of the movie it feels like he doesn’t fit in this type of role but don’t worry as it gets better. Not only his performance as an actor is great, it’s also quite noticeable he changes from a rather religious adolescent with a more violent history to a responsible adult that relies of his belief in God and his love for his comrades. Next to Andrew, there are some other big shots that have a significant part in this title. Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington perform their role as strict and ignorant commanders of the army perfectly. In the end, everyone’s acting skills help to make this movie an harmonious entity which will gets you in its grip.
Of course, it is always nice if there are some extras added and you’re in for a treat. For starters, you have the ‘making of’ section, where you can see how the idea took shape and how certain aspects were tackled. Another possibility is to take a look at the ‘Box bomb’ extra, where you can see how the visual effects were added and which tools they used. Even more, you can see two B-roll parts where some of the ‘raw’ visuals are shown. Last but not least, there are a lot of interviews with the actors and director Mel Gibson, giving their view on the movie and how they felt about the story of Desmond Doss.
If you like war movies and have a soft spot for true stories, then Hacksaw Ridge is something you must consider. Mel Gibson did his best to create a touching movie, while also showing the pain and sorrow from the second World War. If you want to get into the story of Desmond Doss and his deeds during war, be sure to check this out.