BEN

A true tale of superhuman feats and incredible bravery amidst the horrors of the second World War. This was an epic film about an epic story. Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist who, whilst volunteering for the army, refuses to bear arms.

Mel Gibson does a fantastic job of recreating the absolute terror that those men must have experienced. As a viewer you really feel a sense of the relentless attacks from the Japanese. Wave after wave of enemy troops just keep coming with the constant whistle of bullets flying over and loud thud of detonating explosives.

For a film about American troops fighting in World War 2 it seemed almost bizarre how many familiar Australian stars featured in the cast. The first chapter in the film felt like as a sort of aussie movie bingo with the viewer wondering who would be next to appear. That said, the performance were fantastic – great acting throughout and Garfield was the perfect choice for the role.

Gibson has definitely done the amazing story justice. At times, it almost seems too fantastical and yet reading the true accounts you learn that he cut some of the story out for fear that audiences would be in disbelief! If there was any criticism it would be with the pacing; it did feel a bit too long and perhaps some of the footage should have been left on the cutting room floor.

Overall though; A solid film. Very entertaining, Incredible story, well directed and acted, gripping score and excellent sound work. 8/10

SARAH

Ben’s choice. My least favourite genre would be war films. I am not sure this is a fair judgment, but one I established many years ago and haven’t done a thing to challenge! i.e. as a rule, I don’t watch them. They are too “brown” is the way I have commonly explained it – truth be known, I think they terrify me. What so many people have gone through in order for us to live our peaceful lives is terrifying. Too terrifying to watch.
Here we are, 100 movies coming up and we will take in turns to choose. This was Ben’s choice and I faced the fear.
What a film. Incredible acting, particularly Andrew Garfield. I loved seeing all of the Australian actors – though distracting initially, this quickly passed. Vince Vaughen was fantastic, and provided some comedy before ‘shit got real’. The story told, Desmond Doss’s story, is beyond belief. An incredible tale of a true hero. It was long, but its length served the setting of the scene and the battle itself in a manner they both deserved. To shorten it, would have done a disservice to the story of his life leading up to his service or a disservice to the heroic actions he took to save so many. Having said that, my attention span [read: aversion to blood and guts] can handle only so much violence and I was scrolling through IG in an attempt to distract from feeling all of the feelings/hoping deep down the fighting would stop and they could all go home and live happily ever after. Of course, these men don’t have the luxury of unseeing all they have seen. They don’t get to choose to switch off the film. Tonight I am so grateful. Thanks Mel.
I am giving Hacksaw Ridge 8/10.