Mel Gibson returns to directorial greatness with this phenomenal war epic, with a perfect combination of hope, violence, and religion.
Many years have passed thing Mel Gibson first took home the Oscar for Best Achievement in Directing, and although his efforts with Apocalypto were at best decent, it is with Hacksaw Ridge that his old talents return.
Depicting the heart-warming true story of former soldier Desmond Doss, Hacksaw Ridge was, in my opinion, the greatest film of 2016.
Starting with the performances, Andrew Garfield is simply wonderful as Doss, and conveys excellently the gentle soul that the World War II legend was renowned for, his Oscar nomination here is just as the performance may well be the best of his entire career. The films other standout performance comes from a rather unusual place, Vince Vaughn. For a man who has spent the majority of his career starring in bad remakes, cringe-worthy Christmas films, and sub-par comedies, Vaughn can only be praised here for his tough and hilarious portrayal of Sgt Howell, a man who delivers some of the film’s most quotable lines. Hugo Weaving also shines as Tom Doss, a tragic former solider trying desperately to overcome his personal demons.
As previously mentioned, Mel Gibson’s direction is outstanding, controlling battle sequences of that magnitude are no small task, and here Gibson rose to the occasion unquestionably, producing some of the best battle sequences to ever grace the big screen. Though the effects and make-up departments must also receive praise for this.
The battle sequences in Hacksaw Ridge would’ve been nothing, however without the top class editing work of John Gilbert, who received a very well deserved Academy Award for his troubles, most likely for the intensity and peril that his edits so gloriously amplified.
The film also picked up an Oscar for its sound mixing, and the department are to be commended greatly here for their creation of some fabulously visceral diegetic effects.
In conclusion, Hacksaw Ridge is a masterpiece. It delivers some great performances, some stunning visuals, and some simply wonderful sound effects, couple that with a decent screenplay and some undeniably outstanding direction and you have the formula for, as I have mentioned previously, the best film of 2016.
I rate this film: 10/10