Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge
Mel Gibson's new war film, ironic as it sounds, is all about peace.
But don't be fooled.
There's no sugar-coating in this biopic at all.
It has full-blown, in-your-face violence in typical Gibson fashion. Think Braveheart but set in World War II.
The Hacksaw Ridge director certainly didn't hold back in his graphic depiction of the battle between the US and Japanese forces for a strategic cliff on the island of Okinawa.
But this movie isn't all about the horrors of war.
It is Desmond Doss' remarkable story, a courageous Seventh-day Adventist who was resolute in staying true to his faith and views against bearing arms.
Doss was mercilessly bullied during military training, and was even court-martialed, yet he refused to crack.
All he wanted was to serve the country as a medic.
The last act - where we see his resilience and determination in wanting to save people, enemies included - is heartwrenching.
Credit goes to Garfield, who doesn't portray Doss - the first conscientious objector to earn the Congressional Medal of Honor - as a saint.
Garfield humanises him by showing us his anger, pain and frustrations when his values are attacked.
Hugo Weaving's portrayal of Doss' alcoholic dad suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) and guilt is equally applaudable too.
Could it be because director Gibson could personally relate to him because of his own battles with drinking?
There are patchy moments, and one can argue that there are two separate movies in one - before the war and during the war. Gibson hasn't shot a movie in 10 years, but it's clear he hasn't lost his touch.
MOVIE: Hacksaw Ridge
STARRING: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer
DIRECTOR: Mel Gibson
THE SKINNY: An extraordinary real-life tale of how US army medic Desmond Doss (Garfield) not only stayed alive on the front lines of WWII without a weapon, but also saved 75 lives in one of the bloodiest battles in US history.