I’m in awe of the stories of sacrifice, duty, survival, and tenacity that regularly surface out of the horrible period of World War II. Moreover, I’m both grateful and awestruck over the feats demonstrated by the Allied forces during WWII. As such, I am repeatedly left gob smacked by the riveting homages and tributes to the sacrifices of Americans from WWII in films such as Saving Private Ryan, Pearl Harbor, Windtalkers, Patton, as well as period drama series such as HBO’s Band of Brothers and The Pacific. Now I can add yet another amazing, emotional film to that list…Hacksaw Ridge.
I’m going to bypass the controversies surrounding Mel Gibson because they have no place here. Despite your opinion of Gibson’s past exploits or scandals, the fact remains that he directed a spectacular, gut-wrenching, and inspirational film based upon the true life experiences of Army Private Desmond Doss, the patriotic man who felt it was his duty to stand against the Axis forces despite his refusal to carry a weapon into battle. Doss served as a combat medic and earned the Congressional Medal of Honor for selflessly saving 75 soldiers in the face of enemy fire, friendly fire, and carnage during the battle of Okinawa that I can only imagine originated from the very depths of hell.
Andrew Garfield was amazing in his portrayal of Desmond Doss. The supporting cast was equally talented including Hugo Weaving as Doss’ WWI veteran father, who’s personality was altered by his own experiences in the previous war.
Much to my surprise, Vince Vaughn’s portrayal of Sergeant Howell, the enlisted leader of Doss’ company, was spot-on as a gruff coordinator amidst the chaos of the battlefield. Sam Worthington did a wonderful job as Captain Glover, the commanding officer of Doss’s unit. There was such a marvelous cast of actors and actresses in this film.
As if the film wasn’t already life-altering in its presentation and realism, during the end credits you’re able to see actual film footage of interviews from the REAL Desmond Doss, including actual photos taken during his experiences. My mouth gaped and I was stunned as the reality of his experiences sunk in.
I can’t even imagine what he endured, but I’ve rarely felt prouder of a fellow American. Truly, Desmond Doss exemplified a member of The Greatest Generation.
Would that I might have one-tenth of Doss’ courage if the moment required it of me.
I have nothing left to say but…Wow. What a film.
Until later, enjoy life; be kind to those around you, and Happy Reading! Peace.