Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), raised as a practicing Seventh Day Adventist, volunteered for WWII with the condition that he was allowed to serve in battle as a medic without carrying a rifle. The Army gave him hell, tried to discharge him on the basis of being mentally unfit, he was even court martialed...In the end, he was allowed to train as a medic and was sent, as a conscientious objector, with his company to the Pacific theater.
In May, 1945, at Hacksaw Ridge, Okinawa, his company faced the Japanese and experienced heavy losses. The survivors were forced to retreat. Under the cover of navy bombardment, Doss rescued 75 injured men and lowered them with a rope over the ridge to safety.
Few movie directors do epics or war dramas as does Mel Gibson. Even fewer tackle the subject of faith in an affecting manner. Despite his run-ins with the law and his loudly proclaimed antisemitism, he knows how to make movies, and not only that, but grand movies. It was such a pity his talent was withering...Luckily, he had an active year 2016; he starred in Blood Father—a so-so action film that pleased no one but his fans—and he directed the much acclaimed Hacksaw Ridge. With this film, he returns to his directing roots in the tradition of Braveheart and The Passion of the Christ.
In Hacksaw Ridge, the battle scenes are gruesome as are the injuries, but all these serve as the tapestry on which the story of real life hero Desmond Doss unfolds. It makes for uneasy viewing, but tight editing, the right balance between tight camera shots and long distance ones, and keeping the narrative centered on the magnetic Andrew Garfield, in an inspiring, career-best performance, make this movie one of the most attractive offerings of 2016 award season.
Hacksaw Ridge was nominated to the Oscars for Best Motion Picture, Best Director, and Andrew Garfield as Best Actor in a Leading Role.