Mel Gibson knows how to direct films. Say what you want about the man’s personal life or celebrity freak out sessions, he makes good movies. So let’s dive in and take a look at my thoughts on “Hacksaw Ridge” in this box office review…
I was not prepared for what I got from this film. I walked into the theater thinking I was about to see a war movie. I wasn’t completely wrong but I was enough to the point the film surprised me. The character study piece of this film was superb. I couldn’t believe how in depth we look at a few characters while the supporting cast brilliantly plays off and emphasizes the challenges and struggles being presented to the main character, Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield). Hugo Weaving was powerful on screen as Desmond’s father. The anger, suffering and love he portrayed were all top notch. Teresa Palmer playing Dorothy Schutte, Dawson’s love interest and future wife, was a pure delight. Their onscreen chemistry was believable and charming. The budding love story they gave us was touching and dare I say, endearing. It’s a treat to see two actors on screen who can create that chemistry. Vince Vaughn, always a personal favorite, played a more hardened version of himself and I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. Sure, it’s Vince Vaugh, but I felt he was stretching his talent this film to be more and to give more and I appreciated that.
Mel Gibson is officially known for violent films. Are they great films? Absolutely. However, his films are brutal in depiction. This film starts off with mild violence that two young brothers, close in age, will share as they fight each other. From there we see medium levels of violence as Dawson is beat in military basic training by his squad because they presume him a coward. Third act of the film is the war and the chaos of trying to conquer Hacksaw Ridge from the Japanese. The devastation present in this film is powerful but not as powerful as the struggle for Dawson to maintain his personal conviction and still be a contributor who eventually saves more soldiers than was initially expected. This in turn made him a celebrated hero who earned the Medal of Honor after he returned home from the war.
“Hacksaw Ridge” is in theaters now! If you like movies based on true stories or period pieces based in World War 2, this is definitely a movie for you. If you enjoy character study films this is also for you. If you want to see a film that will make you feel good about staying true to your principles in the face of adversity, go see this movie. It’s a great film on the big screen but if you prefer to wait for it to arrive on VOD or Redbox that’s ok too. I strongly believe this will be a contender for best picture this year at the Oscars. I thought it was that good.