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“I don’t know how I’m going to live with myself if I don’t stay true to what I believe.”
– Desmond Doss

SYNOPSIS: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot. – via IMDB

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GRADE 8Man oh man, I have been looking forward to this one for a variety of reasons, the two biggest being Andrew Garfield and Mel Gibson. Yeah sure, Gibson has done some cuckoo things, but he makes really good movies, and I enjoyed him a hell of a lot as an actor. As for Garfield? I just adore the guy. He is a talented actor and cute as a button. So how did the pairing come

Hacksaw Ridge impressed me. It really did. It isn’t so much a war movie as a drama – but do not take that to mean that you will not get a super vivid, clear depiction of the war, because you will. More than an hour is spent setting up Doss’s character and experiences, and driving home what his morals are, and how he sticks by them. The second half shows what happened on Hacksaw Ridge, but never really more of the war. It is the story of one man, and it is an amazing story. I was truly awestruck by how insane the story was, but also how inspiring. I liked, too, that the movie was very detailed about Desmond Doss’s faith. It handled this in depth, but it never felt preachy. It never felt like the viewer was being lectured on faith. It simply told his story, and I really appreciated that. Nobody wants some holier than thou message being shoved down their throats.

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I thought that Garfield was absolutely fantastic here. Really. He owned that role and I totally believed in his plight, and I was beyond impressed here. Garfield and Palmer also shared some great chemistry, and I must admit that I really liked watching them together. The score worked wonders, never overpowering, never being absent. The cast did a pretty good job, and visually the film was really nice to look at, and the camera was never overly shaky cam or too steady, making it impossible to watch, or too structured, and I think that worked in favour here.

Hacksaw Ridge managed to balance the nastiness and brutality of war, while still give us an inspiring story of a man, his faith, and what he wanted to do. Gibson did another good job here, proving to us once again that he is not afraid of getting to the nitty gritty of a film. I would say this movie is well worth a watch.

My recommendation? Skip the trailer and go straight into the movie.

21 thoughts on “Review: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

  1. movierob says:

    Loved this film!

    Great review Zoe!

    It’s my #2 or #3 of 2016 (it and Rogue One keep changing places because they are both so amazing.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Glad to hear it, thanks!

      I didn’t even do a top ten list this year :/

      Liked by 1 person

      1. movierob says:

        Life sometimes gets in the way…. understandable

        Like

      2. Zoë says:

        Nope, I just didn’t feel last year had enough movies that were worth it to compile a list with.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. movierob says:

        Thats a good reason too 😉

        Like

  2. Dan O. says:

    A solid and compelling war tale. Nice review.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Keith says:

    Great review Zoe and I’m thrilled you liked it. It was my #2 movie from last year. I really think many people undervalue it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      It was an excellent watch, I must say. I agree – this film is going to be undervalued in the long run.

      Like

  4. Awesome review Zoe. While I’m not a fan of Mel Gibson personally, I think I can separate his personal life from his professional one.💁🏻

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks Kim! Definitely worth separating, the man is talented. One of the reasons I just don’t read gossip, etc. It can seriously ruin a person and their work for me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. alexraphael says:

    Will come back and read it when i’ve seen it. So many amazing films to see at the moment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Hahaha yeah, plenty to catch up on!

      Like

      1. alexraphael says:

        I know. Tough life haha.

        Like

  6. Tom says:

    Awesome! Glad you dug it. Good for Mel Gibson for doing this. The story of Desmond Doss is absolutely extraordinary. The epitome of wartime heroics. And sure, the film is damn graphic but here I felt it drove home the point of how insane it is to run into battlefield without a weapon!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Definitely! It’s a phenomenal story. The movie didn’t disturb me in terms of how graphic it was – I find that par for course for a war film. Could you even imagine how terrifying that must be?!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Tom says:

        Yeah, what’s really sickening is that while having a weapon would certainly help you attack, people get killed left and right in battle and it’s really random as to who comes out alive a lot of the time. War is so pointless. Kudos to Mel Gibson for recreating another example of why it is so

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Natasha says:

    Great review bestie. I want to watch this for the character study, just not sure I will survive the gore.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Zoë says:

      Thanks fairest! I think you will survive it. You made it through Saving Private Ryan, and that was a lot worse. Fury, too.

      Like

      1. Natasha says:

        Oh really? I heart people moaning about the violence. Then I will definitely give it a watch!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Zoë says:

        Pffff. There are some scenes where it is like whoa, but not the whole movie. In fact, more than half the movie is just about this dude, no war.

        That being said, the moment there is some bloodshed in a movie/on TV, everyone loses their minds about the violence.

        Like

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