Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Hacksaw Ridge is directed by Mel Gibson, and it stars Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, and Sam Worthington. It tells the true story of Desmond Doss, a WWII Army Medic who never wielded a weapon due to his religious beliefs. Doss ended up saving dozens of lives on the battlefield and became the first Conscientious Objector in the US to be given the Medal of Honor.
Where to start? That’s the issue I find myself asking as I write this review. There are so many things to discuss involving Hacksaw Ridge, and I cannot decide which to talk about first. Should I start with the truly amazing performance from Andrew Garfield? The fantastic directing by Mel Gibson? The incredibly realistic visuals? The heart and sense of realism the film has? Or should it be a mix of all of this?
Hacksaw Ridge is the first major standout film of the 2016 Oscar season, and it’s far and away the best film of the year so far. I have seen very few films that can truly encapsulate the audience from beginning to end. It’s a hard feat, to make the audience feel as if they are undergoing the same things as the characters on screen. Yet, Hacksaw Ridge does so with ease. It seems cliché to say, but you don’t really watch this film; you experience it.
The best performance yet this year, without a doubt, comes from Andrew Garfield in this film. Garfield brings a much-needed sense of heart to his character. You may not always understand why he is doing the things he is, but you can’t help but trust him. He just seems like the type of guy that you would legitimately want to hang out with. When Garfield gets serious, and things go dark, he’s even better. The sense of realism that the film has is very largely in part due to Garfield’s performance.
The supporting cast of the film was also outstanding. The standout performance was that of Hugo Weaving as Desmond’s father. Weaving’s performance was something to behold. He brought so much emotion to his character, but he did it so very subtly. He carried himself one way, even though his character was another. You could understand everything he wanted to say, just by him giving a single glance, and it was incredible. Other performances of note include Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington, both are actors that I’m personally not a big fan of, and both of them gave very strong performances. I was pleasantly surprised by both of them in this film, and I hope to see them in more roles like these in the future.
One of the things that was handled very well in Hacksaw Ridge was the violence. This is a very graphic film, as you’d expect from Gibson. The film does have some very unsettling sequences, but it never becomes overly gruesome. It’s never blood for blood’s sake. The film rides the line between having realistic war sequences and being over-the-top violent. It finds the sweet spot that makes the audience comprehend some of the horrors of war, but it never lingers in that spot for long. It gives you a long enough look to let it sink in, but it’s never obscene or over-utilized.
The direction by Mel Gibson was definitely the best part of the film. Gibson managed to take so many moving pieces and seamlessly put them together to make something special. On their own, none of the pieces here would’ve made the film magnificent. Gibson succeeds in bringing all of these great things about the film together, to make the film as a whole nothing short of brilliant.
Hacksaw Ridge is undoubtedly the best film of the year so far. It features an emotion-filled performance from Andrew Garfield, the supporting cast did excellent jobs, the violent imagery was perfectly sampled, and all of this was brought together by Mel Gibson’s directing. I would very highly recommend Hacksaw Ridge. It’s well worth the price of admission, and it will definitely be in the discussion for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars.
What did you think of Hacksaw Ridge? Do you think it has a shot at winning any awards? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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