Rated: R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images. Reviewed by: Dave Release date: November 4, 2016 Released by: Summit Entertainment
"War Is Hell"
General William Tecumseh Sherman
Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge captures the horrors of war with frightening accuracy. It never shy's away from the violent, bloody accounts of Corporal Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield). The World War II combat medic, conscientious objector, and Congressional Medal of Honor recipient, who singlehandedly saved the lives of 75 of his fellow soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa – April/May 1945.
The subtext is Doss's refusal to carry a weapon, his deeply religious beliefs, and love of country. He allows nothing to stop him from his patriotic pursuit of saving lives. Not taking them. During basic training Doss is subjected to every possible form of intimidation to accept a Section 8 discharge, or Court- Marshall.
Sgt. Howell (Vince Vaughn) and Captain Glover, (Sam Worthington) are especially brutal. Ironically, it is Doss who later saves Howell and Glover. Vaughn and Worthington put in stellar performances from beginning to end.
Garfield is perfectly cast as 'Desmond Doss'. He carries with him an incredible range of emotions throughout the film. His religious beliefs as a young man coincide perfectly with God's ultimate destiny for him on Iwo Jima.
Hugo Weaving, and Rachel Griffiths are also superb as Doss's mother and father. The early love between Doss, and Nurse Dorothy Schutte, (Teresa Palmer) who plays (Doss's future wife) are heartfelt and sensitive. The scenes of the two together are right out of a romance novel, they are, simply perfect for each other.
Hacksaw Ridge is not an easy film to watch, nor should it be. Gibson as director places the viewer right in the center of every battle. We are seeing what the soldiers see in every gory detail. In many instances, it is difficult to comprehend how anyone survived at all.
Gibson hits us from every possible angle. As observers, we are right there in the middle of everything with nowhere to hide.
War is indeed, 'HELL'