Hacksaw Ridge - Movie Review
Matthew Brady - wrote on 11/14/16
LIFF30 2016 #3
"In peace, sons bury their fathers. In war, fathers bury their sons".
Hacksaw Ridge may seem like another Oscar bait "true story" biopic that we get every couple of years. The trailers didn't help at all, as it made the film look corny and very award bait. But guys trust on this, it's nothing like that. There's nothing glamorous about this. When it was over, I left was speechless. This is such a great movie.
Say what you want about Mel Gibson controversial past and behavior, but I think we must judge the art, not the artist. This guy is an excellent director and a great actor. And you have no idea how glad I am seeing Mel back, as he is the most talented man in Hollywood right now. The most impressive part of Mel's directing in this movie (besides the battle scenes), is he's decision of an old version approach to the film making. The movie literally looks and feels like it was made around the 50's. Also how Gibson would let actors deliver the emotion of what their feeling and it could meant a lot of things that isn't just terrified. It could be happy, regret, or just thinking of home. And I got all of that.
Andrew Garfield is an actor that's been non-stop blowing me away recently. And he gives one hell of performance as Desmond Doss. I would say it's one of his best since "The Social Network". Even in the battle scenes I thought he was brilliant, as he had this scared, tired, but brave look to him. He's accent in the film I thought worked pretty well and wasn't distracting like I thought it would. The chemistry between Garfield and Teresa Palmer was so charming and sweet that it didn't came of too corny.
Hugo Weaving plays Desmond father in the movie and he was outstanding. Such a powerful and emotional heavy performance. Weaving is the type of actor that deserves so much respect. I mean, we all know him as Agent Smith, V, Megatron, Elrond, and Red Skull. But for him to give a small supporting performance as the alcoholic father who's dealing with conflicted within was quite moving.
Vince Vaughn was so good in this movie that I wish he would come back for dramatic roles, as I really did brought his performance in this. The comedic one lines were pure gold and it was very "Full Metal Jacket". But he isn't like that the whole movie. When he's serious in the movie, it actually works and doesn't feel out of place for the rest of the tone.
Now the battle scenes in the movie...wow, it's pretty rough and disturbing. It's right up there with "Saving Private Ryan" for graphic and shocking depictions. What I always love in these type of War films is the loud sound, actors, and the camera work, which this movie nails at. I've heard some people say that the movie glorify's it's violence despite the theme of the movie being against violence. I honestly think these people have really missed the point here. All the battle scenes are depicted more as this horrible event than a flawless victory.
After the movie was over, everyone in the cinema started clapping. The last time that happened was when in saw "Up" back in 2009. While I never saw the point of clapping or booing at a movie, but for this occasion, I'll let it Slide. The ending was a very nice touch and pretty heartfelt to honor the soldiers that fought in the war. It was deserved.
I haven't got a lot of issues with the movie. But if had to pick, I would probably say that Sam Worthington Australia accent kept slipping in and out in a few scenes. And don't get me wrong, Worthington isn't bad in the movie, but he was pretty good. The same can go to some of cast (as most of them are Australia), but I can easily look past it as the actual performances were all great.
Overall rating: "Hacksaw Ridge" is not perfect, but it positives really do weigh out it's flaws. It's the best War movie I've seen in awhile in terms of it's execution and pay off.