‘Hacksaw Ridge’ leaves viewers on the edge of their seats

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, November 30th, 2016 at 5:40 PM
‘Hacksaw Ridge’ leaves viewers on the edge of their seats by Gabriel Hypes

Ever since “Saving Private Ryan,” Oscar-worthy war movies have been much more than just stories of bloodshed and killing.

A war film that creates buzz has heart, integrity and most importantly, a man who exemplifies a super hero. It’s usually anchored by a man that goes above and beyond his call of duty to complete a mission in which the odds are stacked against his favor.

A great war movie has to put you on the front line with the man whose story is being told, making you feel like the odds of survival are the same as a coin flip.

War is tense, to say the least, and that is what I felt when watching “Hacksaw Ridge.”

“Hacksaw Ridge” tells the true story of Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), a private in World War II who won the Congressional Medal of Honor without ever even touching a weapon, for religious reasons. Doss joined up to become a medic, after believing it was unfair for the men he lived with to fight for his freedom. Because of his religious stance, he was met with criticism from his peers and superiors to the point of being court-martialed.

When it came to the fight, he earned the respect of his fellow soldiers after saving 75 men at Hacksaw Ridge, without ever hiding behind a gun.

There are scenes throughout that are just daunting, leaving you asking “Is that really what it was like?” Presented with the scale of the ridge with a rope ladder dangling from the top, you realize there was really only one way in, and one way out. “Hacksaw Ridge” was filled with moments like this and was beautifully constructed from in-action shots that were used. You felt like you were truly up on the ledge.

Another memorable thing about the movie was the actual fighting.

Yes, it was great, but it goes beyond that. “Hacksaw Ridge” could have just followed around Doss for the fighting sequences, helping whoever he could, but they chose not to. When the soldiers were in the thick of it, we followed Doss’ soldiers that showed him no respect at first. We saw them show no fear in the face of death. We grew to love these characters just as they grew to love Doss.

The review of “Hacksaw Ridge” can extend to pretty much every aspect of great filmmaking. The pace, the lighting, the editing, you name it, “Hacksaw Ridge” does it beautifully.

With recent criticism seeming to disappear, director Mel Gibson is proving to still be the amazing storyteller we saw with “Braveheart.”

I can honestly say “Hacksaw Ridge” is the best war film I have ever seen. 

Gabriel Hypes is a staff writer for The Spectator. 

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