Mel Gibson’s Hacksaw Ridge, starring Andrew Garfield, redefines bravery and heroism [Review]

Heidi Yeung |

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Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss in Hacksaw Ridge proves that bravery comes in many forms.

Desmond joins the US Army in the middle of world war two, but refuses to carry a weapon of any kind, because killing is against his religious beliefs. He eventually gets permission to “run into the hellfire of battle without a single weapon.”

At Hacksaw Ridge, a Japanese stronghold, Desmond runs into battle again and again to help treat the wounded and carry them to safety. Even after his battalion had retreated, he stays behind, dodging the Japanese, to rescue his fellow American soldiers.

Despite Desmond’s faith, the movie never feels like a Christian propaganda film. And despite the epic war setting, the violence never seems gratuitous and the human emotions feel very relatable.

Garfieldcreates a believable character who is determined to remain who he is in a world wanting him to conform, and his heroism is well balanced with humour to keep it from becoming cheesy.

The film also stars bro/rom com veteran Vince Vaughn, who will surprise you as Sergeant Howell, Desmond’s commanding officer.

Hacksaw Ridge, a mostly Australian production helmed by Oscar-winning Mel Gibson, tells a touching American war hero story full of love, breathtaking battle sequences, heart-stopping suspense and laugh-out-loud humour you won’t want to miss.

Contains strong language and graphic scenes.