March 30, 2023

Film Review – Hacksaw Ridge (2017)



It is obvious award season is looming when quality films such as this remarkable fairly unknown true story is unleashed into cinemas grabbing onto your heart, mind and emotional senses from beginning to end.

Made in Australia prominently throughout NSW featuring an array of local talent mixed with international thespian imports, it is rare for a war-themed movie to have an effect on me such as Hacksaw Ridge, my attention never wavered and i cared about the characters, it is no Apocalypse Now, Saving Private Ryan or Platoon but seriously this is will be mentioned alongside those greats in years to come.

Based on incidents revolving around the first ever conscientious objector in history Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) who enlisted to fight for his country in World War 2 but refused to carry or fire a weapon. Saving lives takes prominence.

Being taken by superiors to military court due his decision disrupting comrades and causing them to beat him up, Desmond is assigned to medic duties in hope to save fellow soldiers rather than eliminate enemy ones. Faith based subject matter makes the story all the more remarkable but certainly not to the point of preaching.

Performances all round here are extraordinary however special attention must be paid to lanky yank Vince Vaughn, best known for comedy gems such as Swingers (1996) or Wedding Crashers (2005) he plays Sergeant Howell rolling with insults throughout, funny, direct and eventually compassionate. If he was ever going to get an Oscar nomination it will be for this, think Louis Gossett Jr for An Officer and a Gentleman (1982) and he won! Stunning Teresa Russell is also perfection among cast clarity in what could have been just a minor role.

After receiving a ten-minute standing ovation at the recent Venice Film Festival there is nothing but momentum for this outstanding feature will-will sure to touch the hearts of all who see it.

Final word to Director Mel Gibson, he brings loving craft to an enthralling history lesson to the silver screen much the same way he astounded audiences with Passion of the Christ (2004), Apocalypto (2006) and of course Best Picture Oscar winner Braveheart (1995).

Shane A.Bassett | @Movie_Analyst

War, Drama | USA, 2016 | 15 | Lionsgate Films UK | 26th January 2017 (UK) |Dir.Mel Gibson | Andrew Garfield, Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington, Teresa Russell, Rachel Griffiths, Vince Vaughn