By Jay Hunter – Mel Gibson has become a symbol of controversy in his latter years. Not just in his personal life, but also in the extreme nature of his films. His religious epic, The Passion of the Christ garnered mass pushback in certain areas of the world due to it’s graphic nature. A tone that would run through Apocalypto until his next feature, Hacksaw Ridge. A faith-based war movie which follows the true story of an unlikely hero.
Following Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), who, in during the bloodiest battle of World War II saved 75 lives without firing – or even carrying – his gun, the only solider to do so, due to his religious beliefs. Finding his strength in the role of army medic, he single-handedly evacuated the wounded from behind enemy lines, earning him the Congressional Medal of Honour.
In Hacksaw Ridge’s case, realism is the name of the game. Affectionately being referred to as the most violent-pacifistic movie of all time, Gibson goes to extreme lengths to show the horrors of war. It’s easy to get caught up in the notion of extreme violence, which debatably falls on the side of gimmick, but the movies heart is it’s true saving grace. After the critically acclaimed, but financial failure of Martin Scorsese’s Silence, Andrew Garfield gives another strong performance. Still, it sometimes feels exploitative, you won’t find any of the passive notions our Great-Grandfathers shared with their views on the war in Hacksaw Ridge, instead it does it’s best to throw cruor and gore at it’s audience whenever possible.