My Thoughts On: “Hacksaw Ridge”

Oh, hello Mel Gibson.  Fancy seeing you in the director’s chair once again.  What are you making this time?  A historical biopic about a soldier who never fired a bullet in combat?  You don’t say…

In all seriousness, Hacksaw Ridge is one of the best movies of 2016; I consider it on par with Saving Private Ryan.  What I find interesting is how every aspect of the movie complements each other.  There are few things that show up everything else.  You know how the best thing about Inception is the writing, or the best thing about Blood Diamond is Leonardo DiCaprio, or the best thing about God’s Not Dead 2 is that it’s better than the first?  In Hacksaw Ridge, everything is on the same level of greatness, but it is a pretty venerable level.  Some of these casting choices (particularly Vince Vaughn as a tough military sergeant) had me worried, but the performances are fantastic.  Andrew Garfield has to do a lot of smiling and pull of a thick southern accent, but I think this is his best work since The Social Network.

I said that every part of this movie compliments the next, but that doesn’t mean that there are no moments that stand out.  In fact, this movie only gets better as it goes on.  Hacksaw Ridge is one of the best titles I’ve ever come cross.  Hacksaw Ridge is where the last third of the film takes place, and every second of that act is amazing.  Essentially, the company Private Desmond Doss (played by Garfield) is a part of has to climb a ridge on the island of Okinawa in order to defeat the Japanese.  Even though most of the film is spent (wisely) building character, but the real trials occur on that “God-forsaken ridge.”  In fact, that is where this movie’s M.M.M is.  This scene is a montage of Doss finding wounded men and bringing them to safety.  If I tell you anything more about that scene, the impact will be sullied.  Just know that the music, Garfield’s performance, cinematography, and pure directing genius of Mel Gibson make this scene one of the most inspiring tearjerker moments in the history of cinema.  The movie says that he saved 75 men; Doss himself says it was 50, and fellow men in his company said it was 100, all I know is that this montage is incredible.

I know some people don’t like this movie.  For some it could be too violent, one-sided in its portrayal of war (history is written by the victors people), or the acting doesn’t resonate.  Whatever the case, I think we can all agree that Private Desmond Doss is a true American hero.  Throughout the movie, he faces opposition with his family, romantic life, on the battlefield, and persecution with his own unit.  Despite this, Doss remains himself; he never loses his faith, nor his optimism.  Speaking of faith, I think we just found a good Christian movie.  The moral of the movie is not “be a Christian,” its “stay true to your beliefs,” and during a time in America where people have lost their hope (quite easily actually), it is inspiring to see someone stay rooted in their faith even when certain death is only a few yards away.  Hacksaw Ridge gets Guy’s Guru Grade of an A.

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