The true story of Desmond Doss, a Conscientious Objector who saved
75 men during the Battle of Okinawa without ever firing a weapon.
Hacksaw Ridge (2016)
Directed by Mel Gibson
Written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan
Starring Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn,
Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, Luke Bracey,
Luke Pegler, Rachel Griffiths
Oscar Wins - Best Film Editing, Best Sound Mixing
Oscar Nominations - Best Picture, Best Actor (Andrew Garfield), Best Director, Best Sound Editing
It's common knowledge that war is hell. It's something we often forget during times of peace, but it remains a hard fact of the human experience. Yet, there are those who fight for their country without succumbing to the darkness of war, men who stick to their beliefs no matter what. Army Medic Desmond Doss was one of these men, and his unwavering faith helped him save the lives of 75 wounded soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa in World War II. He went on to become the first Conscientious Objector in military history to be awarded the Medal of Honor and this film is a fitting tribute to his heroism.
Mel Gibson has been in dire need of a comeback for years now and I believe his work on Hacksaw Ridge is a step in the right direction. Gibson shows how Doss came to honor his convictions above all else, using a host of talented character actors and some incredibly violent war scenes. Andrew Garfield stars as Doss, delivering a performance that shows he has serious talent. Before this, he was known best as everybody's third choice for Spider-Man, but now he's destined for some career-defining roles. I was similarly surprised at Hugo Weaving, who plays Doss's emotionally broken father. I knew he was a great actor, but I'd never seen him as such a fragile character before. I felt that Vince Vaughn somehow stole the show as Sergeant Howell, in one of the film's only comedic moments. He was a bright spot in a sea of death and brutality.
Hacksaw Ridge is a visceral look at one man's struggle to do right by his own convictions while the world was falling apart around him. Desmond Doss didn't make any friends with his stance, but he knew it was the right thing to do for himself. This film shines a light on Private Doss and brings his name into the history books as one of America's noblest heroes. The film itself is a triumph on all counts and will go down as one of the year's strongest biopics.