The controversial actor and movie director, Mel Gibson, brings to Hollywood a new World War II movie with a twist: A pacifist hero that goes to the battlefield. “Hacksaw Ridge” is a film based on the true story of war hero Desmond T. Doss, a Seventh-Day Adventist Church believer who carried 75 wounded soldiers from the Battle of Okinawa. Doss became the first conscientious objector to be granted with the Congressional Medal of Honor.

The movie shows a couple of flashbacks of Desmond Doss’s life in Virginia before the battle. The memories show why he refused to use a weapon, his tormented father’s behavior, and her love, nurse Dorothy. Andrew Garfield plays Desmond Doss in Mel Gibson’s new movie, a role that can be considered the most significant in the young actor’s career.

Based on the true story of war hero Desmond T. Doss. Photo credit:
Based on the true story of war hero Desmond T. Doss. Photo credit:

The script was written by Robert Schenkkan and Andrew Knight and narrates a story of heroism that surprisingly does not involve a violent action from its main character. Doss becomes a war hero not shooting at his enemies, a refreshing look to heroic acts and a different perspective when it comes to a battlefield.

Desmond’s father, Tom, is a traumatized man that served in World War I. The experience made him an abusive alcoholic that often hurt his wife, Bertha. Because of what he lived during his service, Tom prohibits his sons to enlist for WWII. The two brothers were experts in defying his father, and they joined the Army anyway.

Hal Doos enlisted soon after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor. Desmond joined the army later, despite being against guns and having fallen in love with Dorothy, a nurse at the hospital he was getting medical schooling.

Desmond faces two war zones during the movie. First battle: The boot camp where he has to face harassment because his pacifist views are seen as cowardice. And the second fight, the one that lets him save 75 soldiers.

Desmond’s decision to not be part of the rifle practice and only dedicate himself to medical assistance angered Sgt. Howell and his fellow recruits who began a series of actions to make him leave the Army. Desmond Doss is threatened of court-martial, but his dad shows up and defends his son, which makes him stay.

Mel Gibson’s new movie got its name after a Japanese stronghold

Hacksaw Ridge is a rocky slope that serves as a Japanese stronghold that is meant to be destroyed by Desmond’s battalion before the U.S. takes Okinawa. The battlefield scene has Gibson’s signature all over, showing a brutal and bloody screen carnage.

During the battle, Desmond repeatedly returns to the hot zone, where bullets and grenade blasts fill the air, to rescue wounded soldiers, setting a record of 75 men that he carried himself to safety by lowering them down the ridge with rope.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is the first movie directed by Gibson since “Apocalypto,” which was released a decade ago. Desmond Doss story efficiently moves people hearts and shows that people using guns are not the only heroes in a war. The movie will be in theaters November 4.

Source: Rolling Stones