By guest columnist my_year_in_movies.
Of all of this years Oscar nominated movies, this was one that I’ve really been looking forward to and it didn’t let me down. Hacksaw Ridge really is a story of two halves. The first half is kind of like a well-made Nicholas Sparks movie with a bit of ‘Private Benjamin’ thrown in for good luck. That might sound like an insult but it really isn’t meant to be. It does a great job of explaining Doss’s situation and his beliefs, so that by the time the second half of the movie starts you’re fully invested in his story, it’s believable and you’re with him. There are some strong dramatic moments and also a fair smattering of comedic moments and by the end of the first hour I had been pulled into quite a nice comfortable place.
Then they go to war.
Never in my life have I experienced a tonal shift in a movie like the transition into the second hour. It is so severe and so immediate that it’s almost unbearable, it’s shocking.
The violence and the gore is immediate and it’s ramped up to full volume. I’m no expert, so I can’t speak to their realism, but these scenes on the titular ridge are amongst the best war scenes I’ve ever seen. Mel Gibson’s work is masterful here. It’s so brutal and breathtaking and almost non-stop.
Desmond Doss’s story is incredible. He shows a faith and courage, both in his own convictions and in war, that speaks so powerfully. Andrew Garfield more than does him justice, it’s truly a wonderful performance, full of soul.
There were a couple of moments towards the end of the movies that I found a little heavy handed, these jarred with me. But overall I thought it was superb. 9/10.
My_year_in_movies is writing about every movie they see in 2017, old and new. Find more on instagram.
For our ever-growing collection of 2017 Oscar reviews, head here!