Mel Gibson is a director who has always been able to portray violence in an almost balletic fashion. Braveheart, The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto all have sequences which are shot with a brutal beauty and Gibson’s 2016 film Hacksaw Ridge is no different.
Hacksaw Ridge is a masterful piece of filmmaking. Gibson’s eye for action is second to none and he has created some of the most impressive battle sequences ever filmed for this WWII drama. The sheer scope of what’s on display is a stunning technical marvel – and it’s easy to see why Gibson was lauded by his peers in the film industry for his work on this momentous story.
Together with cinematographer Simon Duggan and editor John Gilbert, Gibson has crafted powerful battle sequences by using varying speeds and frame-rates to draw the viewer in to their beauty and brutality. The influence of Gibson’s Mad Max director, George Miller is evident in the composition and pacing and this joins Miller’s Fury Road as one of the best action pictures of the last decade.
Hacksaw Ridge is a story that seems too far-fetched to be true, but the records are there to prove that Desmond Doss was a remarkably courageous individual. The opening of Gibson’s epic might delve a little too deep into chocolate box saccharinity, but it’s the perfect contrast to the brutal carnage of war that dominates the film’s last half.