I almost missed Mel Gibson‘s involvement in Hacksaw Ridge. The previews said things like “From the academy award winning director of Braveheart.” I am guessing that was to not get caught up in a firestorm of anti-Gibson media. He was attacked pretty heavily after his drunken rant and it seemed to me like a direct response to Hollywood’s leftist dislike of The Passion of the Christ.
Okay, politics aside, Hacksaw Ridge was an exceptional movie. It does a great job of two very important things not shown often in the traditional Hollywood take on war films.
The first is the absolute horror of war. Gibson navigates the task of telling the gritty, painful and gross aspects of war expertly. This is not a film that will make young boys imitate the wound-in-the-shoulder heroic attack on the vile enemies that we all did growing up. It shows how quick death can came as well as how it drags out excruciatingly with no sense of fairness as to who gets which.
The second aspect that Hacksaw Ridge demonstrates and rare-for-Hollywood, actually celebrates, is a belief in a higher power. Andrew Garfield does a wonderful job in the lead role (Desmond Doss) who desperately wanted to do his part in defending his country, but was not going to go against his beliefs in doing so.
What makes this an even better film is that it is a true story and Doss won the Medal of Honor for his service without firing a bullet. It shows that you can be a man of faith, can stand up for what you believe in and you can buck the system that tells you that sometimes you have to abandon them.
This movie shows that not only do you not have to abandon your beliefs, but it is these that will keep you strong and allow you to accomplish what needs to be done. Dodd was a perfect example of servant leadership – a lesson and example that is sorely needed today.
RATING 10 out of 10
by Chris Doelle