Director– Mel Gibson
Starring – Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington
Country of Origin- U.S.
Review Format: Blu-ray
Discs - 3
Distributor - Lionsgate
Reviewer - Scott MacDonald
Date - 02/20/2017
The Film (4/5)
Mel Gibson's latest film as director is Hacksaw Ridge. A film that depicts combat during WW2 from the perspective of a conscientious objector. This might seem like a unique perspective to take, but the legendary Howard Hawks did it in 1941 with his Sergeant York, and it was done again in 1956 with the film Friendly Persuasion. Of course, this being a Mel Gibson film it is ramped up with significant amounts of violence.
The film stars Andrew Garfield as Desmond Doss. A Seventh Day Adventist, and as such is a pacifist who does not believe in war. However, when WW2 finally arrives on American shores, he knows he cannot stay on the sidelines and decides to join the military and do his part. His idea was to join as a medic, but even medics have to carry guns, this is something he cannot get himself to do, and is tried for it. However, he gets through the trial, and manages to get involved in battle in his own way.
Hacksaw Ridge is a thrilling powerful experience. Obviously, it has been put through the Hollywood blender, so while we cannot take it as a surface level as an actual depiction of what Doss did 100% in combat, if this is even close he is truly a symbol of pacifism on the battlefield. That being said this film like Gibson's other pictures is extremely heavy-handed in it's approach to the material. From early on, it's quite obvious that this is a picture with strong religious subtext, if this bothers viewers they will certainly want to stay away. This is strong through the film's running time.
Of course, most notably is the film's use of strong gore FX, much like his Jesus in a Lucio Fulci film, Passion of the Christ, the film uses violence as a centerpiece, and depicts it strongly and at it's core once we get to the battle sequences that give the film it's name. He also uses slow motion, and other such techniques to make every splattery moment last even longer, and make the audience grasp every last detail.
Lionsgate presents Hacksaw Ridge in a 2:39:1 1080p AVC encoded transfer preserving the films OAR. Everything here looks spectacular, colors pop, detail is excellent, and blacks are inky and deep.
Audio chores are handled by an Atmos track in English everything sounds fantastic, and comes through clearly.
We get an introduction (specifically for Veteran's Day oddly) with Mel Gibson), deleted scenes, a making of , and a trailer.
An exciting war film with an interesting perspective Hacksaw Ridge is packed with violent action, and wonderful performances. The Blu-ray looks and sounds amazing, and has a nice little slate of extras. RECOMMENDED.