DVD Review: Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge takes a Mel Gibson styled look at the true story of Desmond Doss. Doss desperately wants to fight for his country against against Japan but his religious beliefs combined with the childhood trauma of an abusive dad, means that Doss has deep convictions about not carrying a weapon. This seems to put him at odds with fighting, but wanting to do his patriotic duty, Doss sees a loophole and enlists as a medic, enabling him to do his duty by saving lives, not taking them.

But we’re getting ahead of our selves. The film kicks off with a hell of a lot of back story, the moment of clarity when Doss becomes a pacifist, the abuse father who’s rage gives Doss the conviction never to want to pick up a gun, and of course the romance. This all dose a great job of setting up the character of Doss, but also serves to show the vast gulf between civilian life and the horrors of war.

Whilst at basic training the film takes on a feeling of Full Metal Jacket with Doss’ beliefs putting him in the firing line with the drill sergeant who makes it his personal crusade to get Doss out of the army, even inciting his platoon mates to turn on him. Unlike Full Metal Jacket, Doss endures, steadfast in his stance and makes it through many trials to take his place on the front line of one of World War Two’s bloodiest battles, without a single weapon to defend himself.

Enter stage left one of the most violent visceral battle scenes you have ever seen. The violence and gore in true Gibson form are extreme, but Andrew Garfield’s portrayal of Doss helps the viewer through the carnage. His beacon of hope gives us something to focus on other than death and destruction.

By the end of the film you realise that when ever someone mentions anything to do with Heroes, Doss will enter your mind and humbly walk to the center and remind you what it is to be a true hero.

Rating: R15 Depicts graphic & realistic war scenes.



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