HACKSAW RIDGE – REVIEW: Andrew Garfield plays pacifist superhero in bloody World War 2 drama.
Mel Gibson returns to blood and violence with a have-your-cake-and-eat-it Pacific theater war movie. Andrew Garfield stars as the pacifist stretcher-bearer Desmond Doss. Having volunteered to join the army at the outbreak of the Second World War, Doss refuses to carry a rifle, much to the consternation and then fury of his comrades and superiors. Vince Vaughn, who plays Vince Vaughn giving up smoking, is a sergeant with a particular grievance against him. However, once on the battlefield Doss’s heroism proves divinely inspired and life-saving.
Hacksaw Ridge is going for the same ideological spill-over that proved such a success for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper. Those who like war will like it, those who don’t like war will like it and those who say they don’t like war but secretly kind of do will love it. There’s muscular Christianity, muscularity generally and blood and guts galore. Garfield is good as a ‘holy fool’ whose pacifism seems to be reductively inspired by an aversion to his abusive father. Gibson seems to like him as a saintly character that you don’t really need to feel any need to imitate.
This is an insanely dishonest movie and as such will be hugely popular.
Oscar glory beckons.
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