‘Hacksaw Ridge’: Beauty within the carnage

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Chris Volzke

BY CHRIS VOLZKE (’17) AND JAKE PURDY (’17)

Since the dawn of film, war movies have captured the attention of millions of people. Classic films such as “Saving Private Ryan” and “Inglorious Basterds” have defined the war genre and have been universally critically acclaimed and loved by audiences across the world. Now, in the year 2016, we are given another classic with Mel Gibson’s “Hacksaw Ridge.”

Mel Gibson knows his stuff, as far as making movies goes. He has been involved with plenty of all time classics, such as “Passion of the Christ” and “Braveheart,” and even another critically acclaimed war movie, “We Were Soldiers.” But this time, Gibson steps behind the camera for the first time in ten years and delivers a movie filled with heart, gore, resilience and grit.

Andrew Garfield, a rather inexperienced actor brings a lot more to the role than expected. “The Amazing Spider-man” actor trades in his superhero costume for a military uniform. He plays the expected coward who signs up for the army with the intention of never touching a gun. But in the end, he ends up being an even bigger hero than Spider-man.

img_9430Private Desmond Doss is what the army calls a conscientious objector. A conscientious objector is a person who, due to personal beliefs or values, refuses to serve in the armed forces. However, this is not the person that Private Doss is. Private Doss wants to serve his country on the battlefield just as much as any other man; he just doesn’t want to do it with a gun. Instead of shooting the enemy and taking life from the earth, Doss would much rather just “put a little piece of it back together.”

Doss decided to serve as a medic in one of the bloodiest offenses in the war. He charges headfirst into “the hell-fire of battle without a single weapon” to protect himself, and as everyone else is cowering around him, Doss charges around the battlefield picking up the bloody scraps of men on both sides of the battle and putting them back together. By the end of the battle, Doss saves 75 American troops, and even some Japanese soldiers who had been abandoned by their own medics.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is not a movie that holds back in the violence department. Okinawa was a gritty battle in which lots of lives were lost on all sides. This movie attempts to capture all of the bloody violence of just one portion of the battle, and at times is even hard to watch. Men are shot, blown up and lit on fire. Body parts and blood fill up the ditches that the men are hiding out in, and they cover themselves with their dead friends that lie next to them. Gibson holds nothing back and he truly captures the awful bloodshed of the war.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is coming to theaters this Friday. It comes into theaters hard, and will leave audiences with the feeling of hope and appreciation for the hero that Private Doss truly was. He was a Medal of Honor recipient and he never even picked up a gun. This is an incredible film of true heroism, and Gibson and Garfield leave audiences filled with the true heroism of the story of Private Doss. Absolutely the best film the hit theaters this year.