Hacksaw Ridge: Movie Review

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Desmond Doss

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Desmond Doss

Hacksaw Ridge tells the inspirational true story of the World War II hero and conscientious objector  Desmond Doss. Desmond was played by Andrew Garfield, now an oscar nominee for his performance. Other notable actors include Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington, and Vince Vaughn. Hacksaw Ridge received very respectable reviews overall — scoring an 86% on Rotten Tomatoes, an 8.6/10 on IMDB, and a 3.5/4 from Rolling Stones.  

Hacksaw Ridge takes us along Desmond’s entire WWII journey, as he goes from enlisting, to basic training, to the front lines in Okinawa in Japan. The greatest part of the movie and entire story is that Desmond refused to handle a gun. Desmond did so, according to his religious belief as a Seventh-Day Adventist and fervent belief in the 6th commandment “thou shall not kill”. We see Andrew Garfield (playing Desmond), be beaten and hazed by his infantry and superiors. Andrew Garfield also faced opposition from his own commanders (Vince Vaughn and Sam Worthington), who did not want him in their battalion. Once Garfield finally goes to Okinawa he and the rest of the American troops must scale up a cliff and fight the Japanese on a ridge. And up until they had arrived, several infantries of soldiers had gone up and been pushed back down by the Japanese. In the end, Garfield manages to save dozens of troops from the ridge and earns the respect of the entire army.

The battle scenes are extremely violent and graphic throughout, so if you can’t stand the sight of blood then this probably wouldn’t be the movie for you. However, I personally liked the fight scenes and thought they did an unbelievable job of portraying the brutality of war. What is even more amazing is you get to see the impact of what one soldier did without ever even touching a gun, giving a different perspective than other war movies.

The real Desmond Doss died in 2006 and received the medal of honor for his heroic services. Overall, Hacksaw Ridge was an exciting and inspirational movie but had an unbelievable original and true story to go off of. Hacksaw Ridge really tells people to follow what they believe, no matter what the cost.