Skip to main content

Dan's Review: Despite Mel Gibson's heavy-handed direction, "Hacksaw Ridge" worth seeing

Nov 04, 2016 12:52PM, Published by Dan Metcalf, Categories: Today, Arts+Entertainment Movie Reviews


Andrew Garfield in Hacksaw Ridge - © 2016 - Summit Entertainment.



Hacksaw Ridge (Summit Entertainment)

Rated R for intense prolonged realistically graphic sequences of war violence including grisly bloody images.

Starring Andrew Garfield, Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Corr, Teresa Palme, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Roxburgh, Luke Pegler, Richard Pyros, Ben Mingay, Firass Dirani, Jacob Warner, Goran D. Kleut, Harry Greenwood, Damien Thomlinson, Robert Morgan, Nathaniel Buzolic, Ori Pfeffer, Milo Gibson, John Batziolas, John Cannon, Mikael Koski, Charles Jacobs.

Written by Andrew Knight and Robert Schenkkan.

Directed by Mel Gibson.

GRADE: B+

REVIEW:

War is hell, they say – and no one is more dedicated to making you realize that than Mel Gibson. As a director, Gibson never misses a chance to show a little more gore and suffering (something he used to reserve for his own characters before gaining pariah status), while setting up sacrificial heroes on screen (Braveheart, Apocalypto, Passion of the Christ). Nothing has changed for Hacksaw Ridge, Gibson’s adaptation of the real-life story of Desmond Doss, a Word War II medic who refused to pick up a gun.

Andrew Garfield plays Doss, the son of an alcoholic WWI veteran (Hugo Weaving) and Seventh-Day Adventist mom (Rachel Griffiths). After falling in love with the beautiful Dorothy (Teresa Palmer), Doss enlists in the army as a medic, where he hopes to save lives rather than take them. His plan backfires during boot camp, where his tough drill sergeant (Vince Vaughn) and company commander (Sam Worthington) make his life a living hell. His platoon also joins in the abuse, beating Doss frequently as he’s denied leave to see Dorothy and given latrine and KP duty in retaliation. Doss refuses to quit, eventually earning a measure of respect from his comrades and leaders.

After shipping out to Okinawa, the platoon ascends Hacksaw Ridge, a large cliff-side battlefield where the Japanese have dug in for their final defense against the Allies. For students of war history, the battle of Okinawa was one of the bloodiest of the war, as desperate Japanese soldiers defended their honor by any means necessary, including suicidal raids and brutal hand-to-hand combat. Doss’ platoon is immediately cut down, with many soldiers wounded or dying. The company eventually retreats back down the cliff, but Doss refuses to leave his fallen comrades, dragging them to the edge and lowering them down for medical treatment. Just as his commanders learn that Doss is still there, they are ordered back up the ridge, where they discover Doss, still rescuing his mates under heavy fire.

Hacksaw Ridge is one of those war stories that is truly inspiring. You couldn’t imagine a person as selfless and heroic as Doss, who really did save 75 men (including Japanese) during the battle of Okinawa. For this reason alone, Hacksaw Ridge is worth seeing in a world - where “me-first” attitudes and violent behavior are the norm. 

That said, it would seem that Gibson tried a little too hard to drive these points home, using extreme gore, maudlin displays of violence and iconic imagery that seem rooted in heavy-handed Christianity (another Gibson staple). Doss’ story is inspiring enough without being beaten over the head with visual gluttony. I wish Gibson could have practiced a little restraint, but that’s really Mel, is it?

It should be noted that Andrew Garfield’s performance is fantastic, despite Gibson’s lack of restraint. The rest of the cast (most of them are Australian, including Weaving, Griffiths, Worthington, Palmer and Luke Bracey, who plays one of Doss’ fellow soldiers) are more than adequate in supporting roles, especially Vaughn.

Hacksaw Ridge may not be perfect, but if you can stand the gore, it’s worth seeing.



Hacksaw Ridge Trailer



movies movie reviews Non-violence


  • HLAA2017 Convention

    06/22/2017
    09:00AM

    The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) invites you to attend the HLAA2017 Convention, the...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/22/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Adventure+Gear Fest

    06/22/2017
    12:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Adventure + Gear Fest at Snowbird is Utah’s largest interactive Mountain Recreation Festival ...


  • Shoot like a pro! Workshop will focus on landscape photography as well as travel tips for Utah an...


  • Get Out More Tour

    06/22/2017
    06:30PM

    Join BACKPACKER Magazine Ambassador, Randy Propster as he brings the pages of BACKPACKER to life....


  • HLAA2017 Convention

    06/23/2017
    09:00AM

    The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) invites you to attend the HLAA2017 Convention, the...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/23/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/23/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Guided Hikes for Families

    06/23/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Guided hikes for kids (and adults!) Come explore Snowbird’s lower mountain trails on these fun...


  • Yoga on the Mountain

    06/23/2017
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Enjoy a free 1 hr Mountain Vinyasa Flow class at Snowbird, hosted by And She’s Dope Too. Visit...


  • Meet other women who ride! Join WomenMTB and Bingham Cyclery for a women’s only no drop group rid...


  • Join us for a free “Run the Bird 5K” June 23th at 8pm, with a free kids 1K at 7:45pm! The run ...


  • Enjoy a film from the Wasatch Film Festival in the fresh air on the Plaza Deck. The Birdfeeder wi...


  • Mountain Bike Mash-Up Race

    06/24/2017
    08:30AM

    MidweekMTB Mash-Up is a XC mountain bike race with divisions for men and women in Pro, Expert, Sp...


  • HLAA2017 Convention

    06/24/2017
    09:00AM

    The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) invites you to attend the HLAA2017 Convention, the...


  • West Jordan Football Clothing Drive

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    WJHS FOOTBALL PLAYERS WILL BE HOSTING A CLOTHING DRIVE FOR BIG BROTHER BIG SISTER OF UTAH. WE WIL...


  • Get Out More Tour

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    Part of Adventure Week! Join BACKPACKER Magazine Ambassador Randy Propster as he shares trail-tes...


  • Adventure+Gear Fest

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    The Adventure + Gear Fest at Snowbird is Utah’s largest interactive Mountain Recreation Festival ...


  • Wasatch Mountain Film Festival

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 09:00PM

    Returning to the mountains for a 3rd year, the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival has an all new line...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/24/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Yoga at the Tram

    06/24/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Enjoy a 1 hr Mountain Vinyasa Flow class on Hidden Peak, hosted by And She’s Dope Too. Visit thei...


  • Guided Hikes for Families

    06/24/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Come explore Snowbird’s lower mountain trails on these fun hikes led by one of our Snowbird guide...


  • Women’s Mountain Bike Clinics

    06/24/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Bingham Cyclery and WomenMTB have teamed up to offer Beginner and Intermediate skills clinics to ...


  • Yoga on the Mountain

    06/24/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Enjoy a free 1 hr Mountain Vinyasa Flow class at Snowbird, hosted by And She’s Dope Too. Visit...


  • Cool Air Concert

    06/24/2017
    06:00PM

    Jam out on the Plaza Deck on Saturday evening, June 24, with Snowbird’s Cool Air Concert Series. ...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    06/25/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/25/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/26/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/26/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Monday Family Night

    06/26/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening exploring the diversity in our community. Enjoy soulful ...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/27/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/28/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • HLAA2017 Convention

    06/22/2017
    09:00AM

    The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) invites you to attend the HLAA2017 Convention, the...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/22/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Adventure+Gear Fest

    06/22/2017
    12:00PM — 09:00PM

    The Adventure + Gear Fest at Snowbird is Utah’s largest interactive Mountain Recreation Festival ...


  • Shoot like a pro! Workshop will focus on landscape photography as well as travel tips for Utah an...


  • Get Out More Tour

    06/22/2017
    06:30PM

    Join BACKPACKER Magazine Ambassador, Randy Propster as he brings the pages of BACKPACKER to life....


  • HLAA2017 Convention

    06/23/2017
    09:00AM

    The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) invites you to attend the HLAA2017 Convention, the...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/23/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/23/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Guided Hikes for Families

    06/23/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Guided hikes for kids (and adults!) Come explore Snowbird’s lower mountain trails on these fun...


  • Yoga on the Mountain

    06/23/2017
    05:00PM — 06:00PM

    Enjoy a free 1 hr Mountain Vinyasa Flow class at Snowbird, hosted by And She’s Dope Too. Visit...


  • Meet other women who ride! Join WomenMTB and Bingham Cyclery for a women’s only no drop group rid...


  • Join us for a free “Run the Bird 5K” June 23th at 8pm, with a free kids 1K at 7:45pm! The run ...


  • Enjoy a film from the Wasatch Film Festival in the fresh air on the Plaza Deck. The Birdfeeder wi...


  • Mountain Bike Mash-Up Race

    06/24/2017
    08:30AM

    MidweekMTB Mash-Up is a XC mountain bike race with divisions for men and women in Pro, Expert, Sp...


  • HLAA2017 Convention

    06/24/2017
    09:00AM

    The Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) invites you to attend the HLAA2017 Convention, the...


  • West Jordan Football Clothing Drive

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 02:00PM

    WJHS FOOTBALL PLAYERS WILL BE HOSTING A CLOTHING DRIVE FOR BIG BROTHER BIG SISTER OF UTAH. WE WIL...


  • Get Out More Tour

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    Part of Adventure Week! Join BACKPACKER Magazine Ambassador Randy Propster as he shares trail-tes...


  • Adventure+Gear Fest

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 08:00PM

    The Adventure + Gear Fest at Snowbird is Utah’s largest interactive Mountain Recreation Festival ...


  • Wasatch Mountain Film Festival

    06/24/2017
    10:00AM — 09:00PM

    Returning to the mountains for a 3rd year, the Wasatch Mountain Film Festival has an all new line...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/24/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Yoga at the Tram

    06/24/2017
    11:00AM — 12:00PM

    Enjoy a 1 hr Mountain Vinyasa Flow class on Hidden Peak, hosted by And She’s Dope Too. Visit thei...


  • Guided Hikes for Families

    06/24/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Come explore Snowbird’s lower mountain trails on these fun hikes led by one of our Snowbird guide...


  • Women’s Mountain Bike Clinics

    06/24/2017
    12:00PM — 06:00PM

    Bingham Cyclery and WomenMTB have teamed up to offer Beginner and Intermediate skills clinics to ...


  • Yoga on the Mountain

    06/24/2017
    04:00PM — 05:00PM

    Enjoy a free 1 hr Mountain Vinyasa Flow class at Snowbird, hosted by And She’s Dope Too. Visit...


  • Cool Air Concert

    06/24/2017
    06:00PM

    Jam out on the Plaza Deck on Saturday evening, June 24, with Snowbird’s Cool Air Concert Series. ...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    06/25/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/25/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/26/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/26/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • Monday Family Night

    06/26/2017
    06:30PM — 08:30PM

    Pack a picnic and spend a summer evening exploring the diversity in our community. Enjoy soulful ...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/27/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/28/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/28/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/29/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    06/30/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    06/30/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    07/01/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    07/02/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    07/02/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/03/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    07/03/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    07/04/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/05/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    07/05/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • 2017 WJHS Fooball Program

    07/06/2017
    11:00AM

    West Jordan High school Football is putting together our 2017 football program and we are selling...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/07/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • theBRIDGE Church Grand Opening!

    07/09/2017
    10:00AM — 11:30AM

    Join us this Sunday at 10am @ the Daybreak Community Center in South Jordan, UT!


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/10/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


  • FIT4MOM Murray Stroller Strides

    07/12/2017
    09:00AM — 10:00AM

    FIT4MOM, the nation’s largest fitness program for new moms, has arrived in Murray. Stroller Strid...


 

 

 

Online Edition Holladay
Online Edition Cottonwood Heights
Follow My City Journals on Facebook
Advertise with us

 

City Journals 9500 South 500 West, Suite 205, Sandy, Utah 84070 801.254.5974