The movie Hacksaw Ridge is based on a powerful real-life story of heroism about Pfc. Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield) during World War II. Doss won the Congressional Medal of Honor despite the fact that he refused to carry or possess a firearm during the war, because of his religious beliefs. Doss was a gutsy kid out of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains who wanted to save lives as an Army combat medic. Doss’ father, Tom, (Hugo Weaving) was so traumatized by his own service in WWI, that he forbid his sons to enlist. The boys go against their father’s wishes and enlist anyway.
Pfc. Doss is drafted into the Army and immediately shunned, intimidated, and tortured by his comrades, for his religious beliefs. Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn) and Captain Glover (Sam Worthington) saw him as a liability and declared him mentally unfit for the Army. They think Doss is a coward and are outraged that he refuses to touch a rifle. They try to court martial him for refusing a direct order, to carry a gun. However, they fail to find a way to get him out of the Army and he refuses to leave. Doss believes his duty is to obey God and serve his country, and that’s what he intends to do.
The war scene takes place on a rocky slope that the soldiers have named Hacksaw Ridge. The Japanese have control of the ridge, and Doss’ battalion must capture this ridge to gain access to invade the Japanese homeland, Okinawa. The soldiers had secured the top of the cliff when suddenly they were blindsided by a vicious counterattack. They are ordered to retreat immediately. Everybody retreats, but Doss stays behind to save as many wounded American soldiers as he can. Doss, miraculously, dodges bombs, bullets, grenades, and Japanese soldiers to carry seventy-five badly injured American soldiers to safety. Doss lowered each wounded soldier down the very steep ridge using only himself and a rope.
Pfc. Desmond T. Doss earned respect and admiration for his bravery, selflessness, and compassion after he risked his own life to save seventy-five men in the extremely bloody Battle of Okinawa without firing a single shot from a gun. Doss showed extraordinary dedication to his fellow men always putting them before his own safety. While Doss is repeatedly proving his devotion to saving the lives of his fellow soldiers, he repeats, "Dear God, just let me get one more." This displays Doss’s unconditional faith in God and love for mankind. Doss is a man determined to serve his country, God, and his own soul. I feel Mel Gibson, the director of this movie, did an exceptional job of portraying the real-life sacrifices and devastation of war. The movie is horrifying at times and inspiring and heart wrenching at other times. I personally give this movie eight Shamrocks out of ten and feel it is a must see.