HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
Clementine
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Beginning
Meeting the Man: James Baldwin in Paris
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
   
 
  Hacksaw Ridge Thou Shalt Not Kill
Year: 2016
Director: Mel Gibson
Stars: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Vince Vaughan, Teresa Palmer, Hugo Weaving, Rachel Griffiths, Richard Roxburgh, Dennis Kreusler, Firass Dirani, Michael Sheasby, Luke Pegler, Ben Mingay, Nico Cortez, Goran D. Kleut, Ben O'Toole
Genre: War, BiopicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: When Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield) was a boy in Virginia, he would play with his brother, and sometimes that play would erupt into a scuffle, then a fight. His father (Hugo Weaving) had been a First World War veteran and the experience had shattered him, but he was still not averse to being strict with his sons, so when Desmond went too far with one fight on the lawn, picking up a brick and walloping his brother with it and knocking him unconscious, his father wanted to beat him. His mother (Rachel Griffiths) persuaded her husband to do otherwise, seeing the boy had been affected enough by his misguided actions, and so began a trail to World War II, where he wanted to help - but refused to fight.

Although he had intermittently tried acting comebacks after his PR disaster personal problems, it was this film that saw Mel Gibson welcomed back to something approximating Hollywood respectability. Drawn from Doss's biography, it took the true tale of a pacifist and made it the most violent film about a conscientious objector ever made, positively relishing those combat sequences that dominated the second half with somewhat unseemly dedication. Here, as in so many other movies, war was Hell, but it made for some captivating images of gore and bloodshed nevertheless, at least according to Gibson's stylings. However, the effect was a curious one, and not as hypocritical as you might expect.

This was largely thanks to Doss as an individual, a highly strong-willed man who did not use that will for violence as so many could and did, but to help his fellow human as best he could. Appealing to the director, he was also a deeply religious man, and it was that faith that drove him on, a Seventh Day Adventist who stuck to the tenets of his beliefs and all the quirks that went with them, if quirks was the right word. This meant joining up for the U.S. military once his home nation entered the war, yet refusing to fight, a paradox that left everyone else wondering what on earth he was hoping to do there since for the overwhelming majority, joining the army meant being prepared to shoot and blow the enemy up.

What Doss hoped to do was train as a medic, not picking up a gun but a medical kit instead, which as we see was almost perverse for the mood of the time, so against the prevailing spirit of the world was it. Gibson and his screenwriters Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight started this unlikely yarn off with an apparent rural idyll, a small town that was idealised for its solid values and country charm, yet as David Lynch had done with Blue Velvet they were keen to show that that apparently placid, wholesome surface can fall away to reveal the harshness of life, be that the young Desmond almost killing his brother while playing, the incidental character who is gorily trapped under a truck, or the soldier with the serious burn scars who emerges from the hospital and glances as Desmond, all reminding him and us that this is not paradise on Earth by any measure.

Even though there are aspects that make us think of what we hope to receive in Heaven, be that inner peace, the requited love, or good company – even a nice landscape. If you did not believe in Heaven, this would not necessarily be a movie for you, as Gibson made it clear that he was pushing a religious agenda, but this was no fire and brimstone as you might have been inflicted with by his The Passion of the Christ, it was a far more ethically positive message than the one where we were told that we had to suffer horribly before receiving our reward. Here this was certainly part of that, but not because anyone here was a sinner, they were more misguided and Doss was there to show them up that killing was no way of getting through life albeit in an atmosphere where murder was not only sanctioned, but the only way they were informed they could survive. Our hero proved that wrong, and for all the misty-eyed representation of all he held intellectually dear, there was genuine steel in the way it was presented. Not exactly unironic, but certainly unaware of some contradictions, or unwilling to acknowledge them, Hacksaw Ridge was more interesting than many slicker war movies. Music by Rupert Gregson-Williams (did we need the angelic choir?).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 4320 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (2)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: