Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge (Review)

The right to bear arms. Interesting.

While most will watch “Hacksaw Ridge” and immediately conclude that this was a “war” film, I think the one thing that continued to dawn on me was Desmond Doss’ (Andrew Garfield) choice to not bear arms. Funny enough, this is another appropriately-timed film this year with the gun debates at an all-time high.

It baffled me for the first half of the movie to see a man, who was willing to serve one of the nation’s highest honors, almost not be able to fight because a personal and religious choice. But then again I’m not surprised because “Don’t ask, don’t tell” was in effect until 2011.

I guess I was glad to have this moment to think because, to be honest, the first hour of “Hacksaw Ridge” was probably 45 minutes too long of setup time. The background to Desmond Doss is obviously necessary for this film, but I think Mel Gibson, the director, could have done this in a more effective manner.

The second half was really quite thrilling. To see hundreds of men climb the cliff to an unbeknownst world on the top was equally as nerve-wracking as batshit crazy. With some of the camera work that Gibson was able to accomplish, I was able to put everything I saw in the first part and just revel in this mastery.

The same goes for Andrew Garfield. His character for most of the first half is awkward and uncomfortable. The moment he’s in Okinawa, his entire performance changes and I can understand why he’s receiving the praise he’s gotten and continues to get. With the release of “Silence”, 2017 will hopefully be the year Garfield makes a distinctive shift in his filmography.

As I continue to finish up my round of the “likely” best picture favorites, I am far more impressed with the diversity of the film out there in comparison to last year – stories about unknown and marginalized groups and individuals. I’m just as impressed, if not more, with the relevance they have on social issues today. Art is essential, now more than ever, so embrace it.

Watch the trailer for “Hacksaw Ridge” below!

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