hacksaw ridge – trial by (combat) fire

Hacksaw Ridge is a war/biopic about Desmond Doss, and American pacifist combat medic who is the only conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor in World War II.
This film is directed by Mel Gibson, written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan, it stars Andrew Garfield (as Doss), Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths and Vince Vaughn.

The good; this is a story worth telling. The first thing one might notice is the graphic images of war, many soldiers are injured throughout this movie, and it does not shy in conveying how gruesome combat can get. While depicting combat is important to the story the film doesn’t dwell on it too much that it becomes gratuitous.

Placing religion in a war movie has been done before, but not to this extent. Bravo for addressing religion but not making it preachy. The trailers take certain scenes out of context with the religious aspect, glad to see them in context.

It’s inspirational amidst the backdrop of war. The heart of the film is Private Doss retaining his humanity and convictions in this “trial by combat.” Character is paramount in this film, this allows the literal hell around Private Doss to test him in a “trial by fire” through a combat situation.

The bad; this is a war movie, it’s going to get graphic, why are you squirming at every little thing? What were you expecting? It’s as if some of these people went into a horror movie and were surprised to see scares… it’s becoming increasingly hard to enjoy the theatre viewing experience.

The story of Desmond Doss is an American story, he was from Virginia, joins the US Army and served in WWII. Vince Vaughn is the only main actor in this film, everyone else is Australian or English, or something else. There were probably a bunch of reasons why this came about, and everyone did an excellent job, but it was very interesting… perhaps the American movie studios need to make it easier for filmmakers to work in the states? Or the American pool of actors needs to step up their game?
If I have to put something here, it’d be that.

Overall, excellent movie. Go see this in the theatres. Why? Because seeing Hacksaw Ridge on the big screen will draw you in, it will take you to a place and time where things were simpler yet just as grey as they are today. This film has had attempts at being made for more than a decade, glad to see that it finally reached the silver screen.
Hacksaw Ridge is one part war movie, one part period piece, one part biopic, all parts inspiring.

Fade out-
Eugene

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