As far I know, most people would probably avoid “Hacksaw Ridge,” Mel Gibson’s first directing film in years, because of how the actor has gone downhill. His last two acting jobs, “Machete Kills” and “The Expendables III,” were both garbage. On the other hand, though, most people would probably see it, because it is a war movie about a young religious soldier who never fired a gun, but saved lives at during the Battle of Okinawa. If it’s a war movie, people would go. If Gibson had something to do with it, people would say: “no.” And as the critic here, I would say: ” you should go see it.”
The movie is beautifully photographed and acted with or without the battle scenes. It deals with romance, military trials, and battles without jumbling them up, unlike “13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi.” You also engage yourselves in thrilling scenes, sly wit, and lovely decor.
The romance begins when Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) falls for the beautiful nurse Dorothy (Teresa Palmer), and when he decides to enlist in the army, he promises to marry her as soon as he comes back. The military trials commence when Desmond, coming from a religious family and following a bad night, refuses to hold a gun, thus shocking his sergeant (Vince Vaughn) and captain (Sam Worthington). He ends up on trial for disobeying orders, but his father (Hugo Weaving), a former soldier now-turned-drunk, gives them a letter pardoning him of his crimes, and allowing him to walk about there weaponless. And the battle begins when Desmond provides the morphine for the wounded soldiers, and manages to get who he can out alive.
The movie is rated R, which means you will some graphic violence out on the battlefield, and there may be some moments that are hard to watch. I am not sure whether Gibson is going through the motions or making an entertaining film, but from my perspective, the movie is entertaining. You couldn’t ask for better performances from Garfield, Worthington, Palmer, Weaving, and Vaughn; and you’re eating your popcorn even when the characters are just talking. As much as I have my doubts about Gibson nowadays, he seems to show some improvement with “Hacksaw Ridge.”
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