Oscars Countdown… #5 Hacksaw Ridge

Hacksaw Ridge is a name that put me right off, I very reluctantly sat down to watch this film but it turns out  I really really loved it.
The film set during World War Two follows the true story of Desmond Doss a pacifist who refuses to even hold a gun yet enlists as a medic because he feels it’s only right he does his part. 
Andrew Garfield is stellar in this film. I’m going to try very hard not to gush over him because I think I may have fallen a little in love! Here is a war hero who wins honour not by taking lives but by saving them. Humble, modest and idealistic with puppy dog looks, Garfield makes it all too easy to fall in love with him from the get go. And the viewers admiration only grows as we see him struggle through boot camp, fight his way onto the battle field through the military courts and finally go into real life battle at Hacksaw Ridge. 
And what a battle. The scenes at Hacksaw Ridge are horrific, and almost unwatchable, this is the real terror of war. Gibson really shows us the grisliest parts of war and we watch as one after another of the soldiers we grew attached to during the boot camp part of the film meet their bloody end. Despite the anti war message Gibson really revels in the gory action scenes.
What we are left with though is hope. When the Americans retreat with a mere 32 left dejected and broken, Doss again and again provides them with hope as he lowers wounded soldier after wounded soldier to safety. And with a bit of faith and belief they once more go into battle and emerge victorious. 
This is a great film. It has everything love, friendship, heartbreak, action and yes even a little bit of comedy, mostly provided by a surprisingly excellent Vince Vaughn as the Sergeant. This is a classic war film but remade with a new type of hero. It’s been a long time since I watched a really good action film and this fills that void spectacularly.