Hacksaw Ridge, the latest directorial outing by Mel Gibson (Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ) is a big, emotionally manipulative blockbuster of a war film. But, based on the true story of seventh day adventist, Desmond Doss, the first conscientious objector to win the Medal of Valor, there’s an over reliance on faith and patriotism to fill in the slots between the battle scenes.
An endearing Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman, The Social Network) plays Doss straight down the line, overcoming the barrack-room bullying. But the real star of the US-Australian co-production that is Hacksaw Ridge is the stunningly filmed, gruesome battles. Cinematographer Simon Duggan (The Great Gatsby, I Robot) and editor John Gilbert (The Lord of the Rings, The World’s Fastest Indian) should be in the running for Oscars.