One Of The Most Graphic And Harrowing War Films In Years Is Now On Netflix
I’ve been terribly ill over the past few days, so I did what any bedridden person would do and wanked myself into oblivion and developed a dangerous obsession with everything WW2 related.
On the first day I blitzed through Band Of Brothers, affording myself tactical toilet breaks and mastering the short but perilous journey to the microwave to warm soup up and be back in time for the next episode to start. My game plan was both efficient and disciplined, and I like to think it’s a strategy that Damian Lewis would have been proud of.
The second day consisted of losing myself down an Adolf Hitler Wikipedia wormhole, followed by more soup, and then watching what might be the one of the best war films I’ve ever seen.
The film I’m speaking so highly of is Mel Gibson’s (bear with me) Hacksaw Ridge, which is both harrowing and inspirational in equal measure.
Starring Andrew Garfield – who is normally a real arse of an actor – Hacksaw Ridge tells the incredible true-story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who faced all kinds of persecution for refusing to take up arms during the USA’s war efforts in the Pacific in 1945.
His religious beliefs as a Seventh Day Adventist prevented him from using weapons, so instead Doss served as a combat medic where he single-handedly saved 75 men during the incredibly bloody Battle of Okinawa.
His selflessness and bravery in evacuating wounded soldiers from behind enemy lines while risking his own life resulted in him being awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor, making him the first conscientious objector to receive such an honour.
Considering it’s a film with themes of religion and pacifism, it’s remarkably graphic, containing battle scenes with soldiers getting their limbs blown off, men being burned alive, rats and maggots feasting on the dead, and countless other stomach-turning injuries.
And do you know what? I cried at the end of it. Whether it was the film or the splitting migraine I had, I’m not quite sure, but there were tears all the same.
But don’t take my word for how good it is; the film – which won 2 Oscars and 41 other awards – was widely praised by critics as being the best war film since Saving Private Ryan while containing “some of the greatest battle scenes ever filmed.”
Furthermore, Maggie Stancu of Movie Pilot wrote that: “Gibson made some of his most genius directing choices in Hacksaw Ridge, and Garfield has given his best performance yet. With amazing performances by Vince Vaughn, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington and Hugo Weaving, it is absolutely one of 2016’s must-see films.”
Pretty high praise.
Hopefully you’ll be convinced to give it a watch, because it’s definitely worth it. I also implore you to watch Band of Brothers if you get the chance– in fact, I’ve already started on its unofficial sequel, The Pacific, and I’ve got a book on the rise and fall of Nazi Germany coming in the post.
Fascinating stuff, it really is.
Images via Summit Entertainment/GIPHY