Saturday, November 5, 2016

Great 'Hacksaw Ridge' Review from David Edelstein

I've read at least three reviews of the movie, but Edelstein seems to cut closest to the essence.

At Vulture, "'Hacksaw Ridge' Is a Massive Achievement for Mel Gibson":

Say what you will about Mad Mel Gibson, he’s a driven, febrile artist, and there isn’t a second in his war film Hacksaw Ridge — not even the ones that should register as clichĂ©s — that doesn’t burn with his peculiar intensity. He has chosen exactly the right subject for himself. His hero is the Virginia-born Desmond Doss (Andrew Garfield), the first “conscientious objector” to receive the U.S. Medal of Honor based on lives he saved as a medic during the spring 1945 battle for Okinawa, one of the most hellish in the entire Pacific campaign. Doss had no problem with serving in the military. He longed to serve. But in insisting that, as a Seventh-day Adventist, he couldn’t carry a weapon, he flouted the central tenet of military cohesion: You protect your fellow soldiers and they protect you. He had to put himself in the middle of the inferno before the Army understood the nature of the protection he offered.

It’s the right subject for Gibson because violence is central to his work. The formula for the action films in which he starred was Make Mel Mad: hurt him, hurt his ­women, hurt his kids, and stand back. What’s clearer now is that violence — done by him and to him — is a form of self-obliteration. He is, for whatever reason, a man so brimming with self-disgust that he embraces violence as the straightest path to transcendence...
Keep reading. Also, "Mel Gibson's 'Hacksaw Ridge': Sadism and Pacifism Go to War (VIDEO)," and "Mel Gibson's a Different Person Now."