On Feb. 21, Lionsgate released their new war film, Hacksaw Ridge on Blu-ray and DVD. The movie uses gratuitous violence, but nevertheless, it tells the emotional and harrowing tale of a true American hero.
Desmond Doss was a conscientious objector who signed up for the United States Army during World War II. Due to his religious beliefs, he refused to carry a weapon. While he saw the war as justified, he believed the killing was wrong. Instead, he became a medic and single-handedly rescued 75 men from behind enemy lines while being shot at, eventually damaging his leg on a grenade.
This film combines Doss’s love story with his wife Dorothy with his heroism during the war. While facts have been blown out a bit for a better theatrical experience, the truth lies beneath and is no less spectacular. Like Saving Private Ryan before it, the film is heavy on war violence and disturbing images, but it only adds to the emotional pull of the movie, giving you a feeling of what these men must have experienced. It’s horrific, but the story is beautiful.
While the story brings Doss’s God into the mix, it’s not overly preachy. I thought Vince Vaughn was an odd choice for the Sergeant, but his acting was decent and Andrew Garfield truly shined. If you can stomach the violence and gore, this movie is something special. It honors a mostly unsung hero and gives us a look into the atrocities our grandfathers must have experienced.