Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge (2016) “Please, Lord, Help Me Get One More.”

Hacksaw Ridge, Mel Gibson

It’s impossible to talk about Hacksaw Ridge without first getting the subject of Mel Gibson out of the way, since this film marks his return to the director’s chair after over a decade of exile following a series of, um, incidents.  My honest opinion of Gibson is that he is mentally ill, as there were no “incidents” (to be clear “incidents” means “horrific racist blow-ups”) in the over 20 years he’d spent in Hollywood, at least that I’m aware of, prior to roughly about the time he made The Passion of the Christ.  He’s certainly had his career marred for life for his behavior and any hint of it rising again will see a now-socially networked Hollywood descend on him and pick him to pieces.  That’s a long-winded way of saying Hacksaw Ridge isn’t just Mel Gibson’s return; it’s his last chance with an industry and public filled with people he’s slandered.  That being said, Hacksaw Ridge premiered at the Venice Film Festival to a 10-minute standing ovation at the film’s ending.  Whether that’s a byproduct of the industry’s bizarre tendency to selectively forgive despicable behavior (looking at you, Roman Polanski) or because Hacksaw Ridge‘s last hour deserves that reaction is tough to discern.  It is Mel Gibson’s best directorial effort since he won two Oscars for Braveheart, a unique story of a unique hero, and one of the most powerful and moving films of 2016. Continue reading Movie Review: Hacksaw Ridge (2016) “Please, Lord, Help Me Get One More.”