Okay, so Hacksaw Ridge is nominated in the following categories: Best picture, actor in a leading role, directing, editing, sound mixing and sound editing. I can agree with one of those nominations.
Andrew Garfield does a great job in this movie. He portrays his character so well and with such emotions. But that is where my praise ends. This might be a case of Dane doesn’t understand American’s fascination with war movies and war heroes, but I don’t think so. This is not a movie that impressed me.
For a movie about conscientious objector there is a lot of glorified battle scenes. At least to me. I get that it is a movie about a war and that soldiers being in battle is par for the course, but I lost all interest during the overlong battle scenes. The graphic deaths happened all the time, which seems about right for a battle, but since I couldn’t tell who was who and why I should care about them being shot, it didn’t really carry an emotions. I know that war movies need a big cast, so that many of them can die and we can feel sorry for them, but when you don’t emotionally connect with them it makes it really hard to care and root for them to survive. They become random soldiers that we can only tell apart from the enemy because of their uniforms.
Andrew Garfield’s character Desmond is the emotional center of this movie, but during the very chaotic battle scenes we only see him sporadically. Yet, he is the one we care about. He is the one we want to follow and I for one think the battle scenes would have been way more interesting had we followed Desmond fighting to keep people alive without a direct way to protect himself. This movie is a story about Desmond and how he saved a whole lot of people, so why did we need all those long battle scenes, when the majority of Desmonds heroic acts where not during a major fight?
The effects were also terrible and took me out of many scenes. How can a movie with such bad green screen work even be nominated as best picture in this day and age? The movie was far too long and repetitive. Even the scenes with Desmond saving people felt repetitive, because how many different ways can you show a man pulling soldiers from the battlefield and lowering them down a ridge? It turns out, not that many.
The script needed a once over to keep the whole story more focused, which would have lowered the run time, which didn’t need to be over two hours. The editing could also have been done better as many other things in this movie. The sound design and sound editing is okay, but war movies tend to have decent sound, so it is just what I expected. Noting were I thought this is brilliant.
And because all of this is lacking I can’t really condone a nomination for director, because dumb Mel Gibson didn’t do a good job of making a coherent and interesting movie. I liked Andrew Garfield and that is about it. Good job, Andrew, do better next time everyone else.