by Scott Robinson
Hacksaw Ridge tells the true, inspirational story of World War 2 veteran Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who saved the lives of 75 men during the battle of Okinawa.
Doss, a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is against killing and refuses to touch a gun, instead he insists on saving lives by serving as a medic on the battle field. Staying true to his convictions, Doss rushes courageously into the bloodbath of Okinawa with nothing but his medical equipment at his side and a Bible tucked in his chest pocket.
The first half of the movie shows events in his life leading up to his enlistment in the army. Although it is reminiscent of other similar biopic movies, the first act is well-paced, heartfelt, and entertaining.
The second half of the movie illustrates the battle of Okinawa in gruesome detail. The violent, suffocating, and deafening war scenes are skillfully shot and executed to present a very realistic view of war.
The tremendous courage and faith of Desmond Doss is brought to light when his pacifistic views are forced to coexist with the horrors of the battlefield.
Desmond Doss is played by Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-man). Garfield’s likable, innocent, and sometimes quirky charisma paired with a southern twang make for an extremely engaging character. Garfield’s emotion-filled acting successfully draws us in, allowing us to vividly experience each emotion along with his character.
Besides being a truly riveting piece of cinema, at its core, Hacksaw Ridge is a powerful and inspirational movie about a man who held fast to his personal convictions and faith in God even when tested by the fires of war.