Film Title: Hacksaw Ridge
Director: Mel Gibson (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ)
Screenwriter: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight
Cast: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn
Production Studio: Summit Entertainment (Lionsgate)
MPAA Rating: R (for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images)
Release Date: November 4, 2016
Running Time: 2 Hours 19 Minutes
Genres: Action, Drama, History, War
To refuse to carry a weapon into battle is seen to be one of the most shameful ideologies that a man can have in the eyes of the US Military. To be ridiculed and mocked and even punished by your fellow American brethren. To be threatened to be thrown into prison for denying direct orders. To be seen as worthless and just an extra body waiting to fall in the act of battle. To be thrown into the middle of the third deadliest battle in American history without a single weapon to defend yourself. All this, to emerge as a Hero.
Hacksaw Ridge is a movie based on a true story of a young man, named Desmond Doss, who decided to enlist (in actuality he was drafted) into the army during World War II yet refused to even touch a weapon. Due to Doss’ personal belief of not carrying a weapon, he ends up being ridiculed by the US army during Basic Training and was even threatened to become a prisoner of war. However, in the end, it is decided that he will be partaking in the Battle of Okinawa where he served as a medic on the battlefield alongside his fellow Americans, with the exception of being armed with a weapon in turn for a set of bandages and little packages of morphine. Defying all odds and direct orders, Doss remains at the top of the ridge where in turn he decides to stay up top checking each and everybody for signs of life and his persistence to save as many lives as he possibly could by lowering them one by one down the ridge with a single rope. Desmond Doss saved the lives of 78 American men, in turn, he became the first “Conscientious Objector” (a person who refuses to carry a firearm) ever to be awarded the highest honor an American serviceman could be presented with… The Medal of Honor.
While watching the film I felt proud, fearful, exhilarated, blissful, and a never-ending list of other emotion.
Andrew Garfield’s accurate portrayal of Private Desmond Doss is one that should be applauded. I will say that this role for Garfield is without a doubt his greatest performance in his entire career. I would even be willing to say that it is worthy of getting a nomination for the Oscars.
Vince Vaughn has always been known as a comedic actor so you could say that I was a little surprised to see him playing a role in a serious film such as this. Luckily he was perfect for the role. Acting as the platoon’s sergeant during Basic Training and on the field. Vaughn’s portrayal of Sergeant Howell was frightening from time to time and other times he can be inspiring. My only problem with his character is that I wish I could have seen more from him.
Teresa Palmer playing Dorothy Schutte was a good portrayal of the role for the scenes that she was in, but all I had to say is… Damn is she hot. Doss sure did marry up with this gem of a girl, and to think he met her while giving blood at a hospital.
All and all, there is not one bad thing that I could say about any of the performances in this film. By the way… the only reason why I commented on Teresa Palmer’s performance is because she is hot.
The soundtrack in this film perfectly set the mood that the director was going for. It fit perfectly with each and every scene in the film, blending in a mix of either serenity or terror with each track provided. My only major issue with the soundtrack, however, is the mere fact in how none of the tracks are ones that will be remembered even the next day after listening to it. Other than that, the soundtrack was perfectly well composed and integrated with each and every scene in the film.
~Costume & Makeup Design 10/10~
The costume design of the film is extremely accurate to what the time period held. The differences in military uniforms between one that was a part of the WWI era versus the WWII era is duly noted and appreciated. The detailed difference between every single uniform in the movie having all sorts of different medals that all represent something different from one another things and the distinction between different status in the army is also appreciated.
As for the makeup used in the film… oh boy… where to start… The vast contrasting differences between the bright and cheery makeup that is used on the nurses at the beginning of the movie compared to the muddy and scratched up makeup used during basic training versus the extreme amount of blood, scars, and entire limbs being ripped off or even dangling there with guts everywhere on the battlefield. To say that the makeup used in the film is “impressive” would be an extreme understatement.
I applaud the wide range of different sorts of camera angles that Mel Gibson incorporated into this film. Using anything from a slow pan of the grassy fields of Alabama to a low angle and first person shot of the Japanese looming over top of the Americans during battle, to the shaky cam-incorporated during the midst of battle
The stark contrast between the light and cheerful pallet that Gibson used in the film compared to when he used a dark and gritty color pallet during the acts of war is one thing that I believe most people may have never even noticed but I believe is a transition so smooth and seamless that I believe it should be applauded.
To be completely honest with you all, I was always interested in watching this film since I first heard about it a few months ago but never thought I would be given the chance to go see it in theaters since I rarely ever go to the movie theater. However, earlier this week, I along with a few high school friends of mine decided to go see the film last minute in theaters. As for the film itself? I would say that stating how I thoroughly enjoyed the film would be considered an understatement. From the first moment of the film to the very last, I felt as if I was a part of the film…as if I was there in real life. At first, I was concerned about walking into this movie fearful of myself picturing Andrew Garfield as Spiderman and not Desmond Doss, thankfully this was not the case.
I would also leave a quick mention to the fact of how Director Mel Gibson included Desmond Doss’ faith in god to be a prominent part of the film, which was the one and only wishes that the real life Doss wished to be included in the film.
I recommend everyone who is able to stomach the extreme amount of violence to see this film, it is one that I will never forget and is a story that I believe the world should know about. Please go see this film in theaters right now if you have the wallet for it, I can not stress how much I recommend this movie. I can not think of a better word to describe this movie than… “Masterpiece”. The film is truly a 10/10 across the board. Go watch it now!
~Similar Movie Recommendations~
American Sniper, Braveheart, Full Metal Jacket, Letters From Iwo Jima, Saving Private Ryan, & The Conscientious Objector (Documentary)
It’s been awhile since I last wrote a post or even more specifically a review on this blog and to those of you who are reading this, I am sorry. The absence of reviews have been due to a lack of time and motivation towards writing. I have started writing a few posts in the past but they ended up being unfinished. I hope to have my next review come out be on the recently famous anime music video of Porter Robinson’s “Shelter”. The other review that I hope on finishing and release sometime in the month of December is of the 1997 animated movie “The Dog of Flanders”.