Director Mel Gibson & Andrew Garfield take us to ‘HACKSAW RIDGE’

Andrew Garfield stars as 'Desomnd Doss' in HACKSAW RIDGE. Courtesy of Lionsgate.

Andrew Garfield stars as ‘Desomnd Doss’ in HACKSAW RIDGE. Courtesy of Lionsgate.

Courtney Howard // Film Critic

“War. What is it good for?”

It’s good for meaty drama and spectacular cinematics – that’s what it’s good for. I bet Edwin Starr had no idea the question at the heart of his song “War” could be answered by Hollywood. Years after APOCALYPSE NOW, PLATOON, M.A.S.H., CASUALTIES OF WAR, THE THIN RED LINE, BLACKHAWK DOWN and many, many other “war” movies, director Mel Gibson enters into the arena with his entry, HACKSAW RIDGE. The film is a true-life tale of a conscientious objector of sorts (played by Andrew Garfield) fighting in WWII and his incredible acts of heroism on the battlefield.

Here’s the official synopsis:

HACKSAW RIDGE is the extraordinary true story of Desmond Doss [Andrew Garfield] who, in Okinawa during the bloodiest battle of WWII, saved 75 men without firing or carrying a gun. He was the only American soldier in WWII to fight on the front lines without a weapon, as he believed that while the war was justified, killing was nevertheless wrong. As an army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, braved fire while tending to soldiers and was wounded by a grenade and hit by snipers. Doss was the first conscientious objector awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Ten years after Gibson directed APOCALYPTO, it appears he returns to fine creative form behind the camera with this harrowing story. It sure as heck looks like its a tale worth telling (and seeing for that matter).

HACKSAW RIDGE opens on November 4.


About author

Courtney Howard

Courtney Howard is a LAFCA, CCA, OFCS and AWFJ member, as well as a Rotten Tomatometer-approved film critic. Her work has been published on Variety, She Knows and Awards Circuit.