HACKSAW RIDGE Review– A Good Old Fashioned WWII Movie

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Hacksaw Ridge Review by Lisa Johnson Mandell — C’mon, Mel! Why the R rating?

Hacksaw Ridge ReviewHacksaw Ridge is based on the true story of Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist and conscientious objector who felt it was his moral obligation to serve in WWII. He became a medic, and while he refused to carry a gun, he was still able to save and inspire dozens of men in one of the Okinawa’s bloodiest battles. It’s a great story, and is attested to at the end by interviews with some of the veterans involved. I’m willing to forgive director Mel Gibson for the corny script and the subpar special effects. If you like war movies, this one’s for you, Soldier!

Hacksaw Ridge starts out ala Saving Private Ryan, on the battlefield with bodies flying through the air, machine guns blazing, and flame throwers setting troops on special effects fire. You’ve seen this before and better. Thankfully, the film rapidly rewinds into the back story of Doss (Spiderman Andrew Garfield) growing up scrawny and hopeful in the hills of West Virginia, harangued by a father (Hugo Weaving) who is an abusive alcoholic veteran of the Great War. Several years and a devoted finance (Teresa Palmer) later, he finds himself under the tough but benevolent wing of Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn), and the aforementioned military service ensues.

If you didn’t recognize the stellar cast, you might think you were watching a film made 45 years ago. It has the same old comrades at arms / the good Lord will provide values. Unfortunately, however, there’s enough cussing and violence to merit it an R rating, which is a real shame. This is the type of film my conservative family and friends would see, should see, if only it were only rated PG-13. I’m afraid that rating will put off the very people this film was made for. Opening against Doctor Strange (rated PG-13), Hacksaw Ridge needs all the help it can get, and with that R-Rating, it’s shot itself in the foot.

2 Hours 19 Minutes

Rated R

Get times and tickets at Fandango.com

HACKSAW RIDGE Review– A Good Old Fashioned WWII Movie

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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