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Hacksaw Ridge - Mel Gibson's Comeback

Updated on February 7, 2017

A True Story

“Hacksaw Ridge” is being hailed as Mel Gibson’s come back and his chance to redeem himself after he was shut out of the movie business in Hollywood because of his famous anti-Semitic and anti-feminist comments last decade. He is a controversial figure but he is a brilliant director who can establish a strong emotional connection between the film’s characters and the audience. Shot on location in Australia with a budget of 45 million dollars, “Hacksaw Ridge” made more than 160 million dollars in box office receipts and along with strong critical acclaim, and of course 6 Oscar nominations including best actor, best director, and best film, this one is without a doubt a very solid comeback from Gibson.

First of all, the film presents an interesting war story that I found to be worth telling. It is based on the life of Desmond Doss who was the first conscientious objector to receive the Medal of Honor for saving 75 souls in the battle of Okinawa in the Second World War without carrying or using a gun. After winning a deserving Oscar for his directorial efforts in “Braveheart”, Mel Gibson’s talent behind the camera was obvious and his underrated thriller “Apocalypto” cemented that reputation. Gibson succeeds in connecting the audience to his main character due to the huge respect he shows for the story and the character, luckily, he also gets a lot help from the confident and sympathetic performance of Andrew Garfield.

Mel Gibson Unleashed

Gibson unleashes his full powers during the battle scenes and he brilliantly manages to stage some unbelievably brutal, fast paced, and exciting scenes. The scope of the battle feels a bit contained, and Gibson relies on some huge explosions and navy missiles to widen the scope and make up for the small budget. The score which is important in an emotional ride like “Hacksaw Ridge” does not live up to the standards set by the rest of the movie and I did not find it emotionally stirring like James Horner’s score from “Braveheart” for example.

It is good to see Mel Gibson back in the game. There is a lot of angry people out there who will object to the recognition that Gibson has been receiving for his work on “Hacksaw Ridge” due to his famous comments but don’t we all say things we should not say sometimes? Exiling a great talent behind the camera till the end of time because of a mistake doesn’t sound fair to me. The words of a famous man travels everywhere and is heard by everyone. “Hacksaw Ridge” provides Mel Gibson with a vehicle to show his talents behind the camera, and with some help from a very good cast including a wonderful performance by Andrew Garfield, he manages to deliver one of the better movies of year.

Rating: 8/10

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