Hacksaw Ridge Review


5/5 stars

Hacksaw Ridge is an incredible film. Every aspect was either top notch or close enough that there was no weak point in the movie.

Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) is a conscientious objector to the second world war who enlists in the U.S. Army to save lives. He is morally opposed to taking another person’s life so much that he will not touch a gun. He was then deployed to the Battle of Okinawa where he saved the lives of 75 soldiers: both American and Japanese.  

Everything about this film was great. The acting was anchored by Garfield’s award-worthy performance, but Hugo Weaving, Sam Worthington and Luke Bracey also turned in outstanding performances as Doss’ father, Captain and fellow private respectively. The only thing that detracts from this film is the inclusion of Vince Vaughn as Doss’ Sergeant. In the parts where Vaughn can be comedic, such as when giving the new recruits nicknames he is perfectly cast, but when commanding troops against enemy forces it is hard to see him as anything but a comedian out of his depth.

Visually the first half of the film showcased the beauty of Doss’ native Virginia, but pales in comparison to the latter half. The battlefield on Okinawa was hauntingly beautiful. The desolate landscape, scarred by the assaults of various warships and infantrymen, was littered with the decaying remains of allied and axis soldier alike in a showcase of the immediate effects of war. The initial assault on the Japanese forces was reminiscent of the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan for the sheer portrayal of reality.

The film was engaging throughout and ought to be a serious contender for a litany of Academy Awards. Garfield will no doubt use this as a stepping stone to land ever larger and grander roles. While this film is incredible it pales in comparison to the real Desmond Doss, who was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor for his actions.

+Jack Lynch