Movie 411: Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Director: Mel Gibson

Screenplay: Robert Schenkkan (TV stuff) and Andrew Knight (TV stuff)

Released: November 2016

Genre: Action/drama

Rated: R

The hook: History! And “based on actual events.”

In Summary: Hot-headed Desmond Doss learned a hard lesson at an early age, that unchecked anger is dangerous. He vowed to never hurt anyone and that includes using weapons. But then war happens and the desire to serve his country pulls him to enlist which tests his beliefs when he is ridiculed for not wanting to fire a weapon, even if his intent is to be a medic. 

Random thoughts: 

I was hesitant to give this movie a shot only because war movies tend to be intense and I really shouldn’t be doing intense right now. But curiosity got the better of me. One, because it deals with historical events and two because it’s based on a true story which takes place during historical events. And three, I love a story where the one who gets picked on gets to throw it back in his aggressors face. And this one was a big one. 

The Plot:

Since it’s based on actual events, scratch creativity and originality. I appreciate the screenplay though. Dialogue, scene setting, story progression, all was well done. I think movies covering historical events and the story is based on actual events, a certain blend and balance needs to happen for a movie so the movie isn’t too heavy, but displays a seriousness not to be taken lightly. I think Schenkkan and Knight did a good job with this and Gibson executed it well.

and Presentation:

As I mentioned, I think Gibson did a great job executing the script. He captured the moments that really brought the story to life–the hostility towards Doss because of his beliefs, the ridicule, and embarrassment he had to endure because he refused to use/carry a gun. The relationship, and hardship, with his family and the love that grew from a chance meeting. I think the cast did a great job as well. Garfield held the role well and did a good job capturing the tension between his father (Mr. Anderson) and himself, the love between Dorothy (Teresa Palmer) and himself, and his military unit. Vaughn (Sgt. Howell) and Wellington (Capt. Glover) did a great job being the hard@*S and jerks who singled Doss out among his fellow soldiers. Well done.


I wouldn’t add this to my library only because war movies, while some are really good, can be too much for me. Enough so that I don’t think I’d choose to watch it again. If someone suggests it or if it happened to be on television, I may stop to watch parts of it, but I don’t think it would be worth my investment.

However, the story has a great plot, great tension, and growth and worth seeing at least once.


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