Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hacksaw Ridge

                 An amazing true story of courage and faith under fire. This new war drama is the story of Desmond Doss, a man of conviction and strong religious belief who wanted to serve his county in World War II but refused to carry a weapon. Think what you will about Mel Gibson, the man, you have to appreciate him as a director and the entire cast and crew that bring this remarkable story to life.

                 Andrew Garfield stars as Doss and he is sensational. It is a very demanding role, especially in the second half of the film and he is truly inspiring. Co-starring are Rachel Griffiths and Hugo Weaving as his parents, Vince Vaughan as Sargent Howell, Sam Worthington as Captain Glover and Teresa Palmer as Dorothy, the love of Desmond's life.

                 The first half of the film is backstory explaining Doss's decision to be a pacifist, how he meets Dorothy, and his subsequent enlistment into the army. The second half of the film is all about the battle of Hacksaw Ridge and this is where Mr. Gibson and his team excel. They bring the viewer smack into the middle of war in all it's horror and gore. The battle scenes are incredibly realistic and you feel every bullet and explosion. It is a visceral experience beyond the opening sequence of "Saving Private Ryan". The violence and gore only serve to illustrate the miracle of Medic Doss and what he does during this battle, without a weapon, to save not only himself but seventy five wounded soldiers.

                   The film ends with a wonderful coda, a short interview with the real Desmond Doss, filmed shortly before his death at the age of 87.  "Hacksaw Ridge", while difficult to watch at times, is a wonderful testament to a true American hero.

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