Movie Review #287 HACKSAW RIDGE.
Powerful, powerful anti-war movie based on the story of Desmond Doss, the only conscientious objector to win the Congressional Medal of Honour during WWII.
As US forces attempt to take Okinawa against fanatical Japanese opposition, bloody battles ensue and beware, the depiction of war in this one is the most explicit I've seen yet and makes Saving Private Ryan look like Disneyland.
The story starts in Doss' childhood, works through the romance with wife Dorothy, takes us into basic training and the attempts of the army to get rid of him before we arrive on Okinawa where Corp Doss is a medic.
Refusing to even carry a rifle let alone kill, he manages to ferry 75 wounded American soldiers to safety from Hacksaw Ridge after the main contingent had withdrawn in the face of overwhelming Japanese numbers.
Stand out performance is Hugo Weaving as Doss' shell shocked WWI veteran father, Rachel Griffiths does the mum turn and completing the Australian representation is Mel Gibson, proving again that he is a far better director than actor.
Thought provoking to the end, it left me wondering whether Doss' stance was a reflection of faith, a religious adherence or a response to abuse from his father and other childhood events, perhaps a combination of all three or maybe none of the above.
Overall a superb and extremely explicit film that elicits a sense of awe that against all odds, Doss survived while saving so many. 9.5/10
I'm a movie nut from way back with my first ever being The Hallelujah Trail from 1964. Ever since, I've been mesmerized by the giant screen, and the darkness that went on forever. Despite the infernally uncomfortable seats, (plus having to stand for God Save the Queen), I've been enticed ever since to duck into a theatre whenever I can for a few hours of escapism.