161. Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

Leonard's Rating :  ?

Should be : 

IMDB Rating : 8.3

Rotten Tomatoes Rating :    86% with critics, 93% with Audience

In his review Leonard says"Yet here, too, there is a problem: director Mel Gibson thrives on violence. The film opens on horrifying and graphic scenes of war at its worst, in the chaos of battle with soldiers’ bodies on fire, being blown apart. No one would suggest that Gibson soft-pedal the reality of war in the post-Saving Private Ryan era, but these grisly, unrelenting images (with far too many shots of rats gnawing at rotting corpses) threaten to overwhelm the film’s real purpose: dramatizing one modest man’s moral convictions."

Leonard really didn't like this Best Picture nominated and very popular movie. In his online review he went on to say :

"Hacksaw Ridge is a case of good intentions gone astray. I recently caught an old movie on TCM that succeeds in every way that this movie fails: Gary Cooper plays the leading role in Howard Hawks’ Sergeant York (1941), the story of a real-life rural boy not unlike Desmond Doss, but set in World War One. It may be sentimental, even corny at times, but it still works. Andrew Garfield manages to capture some of that Cooper sincerity; it’s too bad his collaborators behind the camera couldn’t follow his lead."

I don't think Leonard gets it. Sure, Mel Gibson does seem to like blood and violence, but I think he uses them to make a point. I like Sergeant York too, but after seeing it I was ready to go off to war and pick off some turkeys.

After seeing Hacksaw Ridge, I would never want to go to war or have any of my relatives go to war.

So which is more of an anti-war movie? One  glorifies war, and makes it look easy. Gary Cooper and a handful of men captured over one hundred twenty Germans, and didn't even break in to sweat. The movie was a patriotic propaganda war film that had the intention of encouraging and inspiring our troops as they went off to war.

I think Hacksaw Ridge, which is the most realistic war film since Saving Private Ryan,  does the opposite. It shows the horrors of war and takes all the glory out of it.

Bloody, brutal and a very strong statement about the barbarity and horror of war.

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