Mel Gibson returns (finally) behind the camera and delivers an incredible true story about a man that will not touch a firearm during wartime and how his courage will save the lives of 75 men at Hacksaw Ridge.
Mel Gibson is one of the best directors of our time. With films like Braveheart, Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto, Mel has knocked it out of the park again with Hacksaw Ridge, which is a masterpiece of filmmaking at it’s finest.
Andrew Garfield gives the best performance of his career as Desmond T. Doss. His performance is Oscar worthy and he is subtle and he completely embodies the character. He is absolutely terrific in this film and he gives by far the best performance of the entire year.
All the other actors also did a fantastic job in this movie. Vince Vaughn was great and I’m not even the biggest fan of him since he usually does the same character over and over again but here he’s absolutely terrific. He’s nuanced, multi-layered and his character actually has an arc from beginning to end. Hugo Weaving is also really good as Doss’s father, whom has been affected by the horrors of war. He wasn’t just the drunk father as well and you could understand why he did the things he did. Teresa Palmer was also fantastic as Doss’s love interest and while she’s more in the movie in the first half, her chemistry between Andrew Garfield was great and while the love story could have been corny and cheesy, it wasn’t since it was actually handled the right way. You buy that these two characters love each other and their relationship feels real.
The second half of the film is when they arrive at Hacksaw Ridge and without spoiling anything away, the violence is brutal but not in your face. What Doss has accomplished at Hacksaw Ridge is nothing but incredible and while the second half of the film is violent, there is hope, despite all the blood, guts and bullets flying around. The war scenes are intense, terrifying and I have not seen war scenes directed this well since Saving Private Ryan. Mel Gibson is a master behind the camera, and the way he directs this movie is absolutely wonderful and it floured me from beginning to end. Filmmaking this good rarely happens nowadays and a movie this great only comes once in a long while, and it should be celebrated. It also doesn’t push patriotism down your throat like American Sniper did. Mel Gibson drew the fine line between telling this story without beating you over the head with its message and that is praiseworthy.
Overall, Hacksaw Ridge is a masterpiece of filmmaking that is superbly directed, wonderfully acted and expertly portrays how one man can inspire hope where there is none left on the battlefield.