“Hacksaw Ridge” is a faith-based movie that features a powerful message, a gripping performance from Andrew Garfield as Desmond T. Doss, as well as dynamic directing from Mel Gibson. The movie is based on the true story of Doss, who refused to learn to handle a gun during his basic training during World War II, but saved 75 American lives as a medic. Much of his actions included finding soldiers after battle and lowering them to safety on a rope in order for them to receive the medical care they needed. He is mocked and ridiculed at the beginning for taking on the role of conscientious objector and refusing to kill others. He is tagged a coward, but at least two men that believe that tell him later on, “I was wrong,” and he gains the respect of his entire unit. His commitment to his faith, as he often reads his Bible, is commendable. Included in the movie is the story of Doss meeting a young woman named Dorothy (Teresa Palmer), and their subsequent romance, with her telling him after he joins the Army, “You come home to me.”
The movie, in addition, features some nice writing and dialog including this comment: “During times of peace, sons bury their fathers; during times of war, fathers bury their sons.” Also, in another scene, Doss rescues an injured soldier, while praying, “Lord, give me just one more,” only to repeat this prayer and his demonstrations of heroic deeds time and again. It is a moving and integral part of the theme of the film. He is devoted to God and cares about his fellow man.
However, due to very graphic scenes of war violence, as well as rear male nudity, we are awarding the film our Faith-Based Seal, meaning it has a strong faith message but contains some objectionable content. For those that wish to watch this film for its true story of heroism and devotion to God, the message comes through. Desmond T. Doss believed God was with him and the men, even in war. And he lived like it.