Movie Review | Hacksaw Ridge

by Mica Wilhite

Desmond Doss was a conscientious objector in World War II who received the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions as a combat medic during one of the bloodiest battles in the Pacific, the 1945 Battle of Okinawa. Over 70 years later, his story is only now being told because Doss, a sincere and meek Seventh Day Adventist, never wanted to bring attention to his superhuman history.

“Hacksaw Ridge” is more than just a realistic reenactment of the carnage of war. It also has a romantic side. When Doss (“The Amazing Spiderman” star Andrew Garfield) meets a sweet nurse with a shining smile, he is eager to give blood as often as Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer) will allow him.

It has a sense of humor. During boot camp, Sergeant Howell (“Wedding Crashers” star Vince Vauhn) sizes up the willowy Doss by saying, “I have seen stalks of corn with better physiques. Makes me want to pull an ear off, Private!”

And it has peaceful but moving moments. For instance, when Doss’s father, a World War I veteran who first strenuously objects to his son enlisting, goes above and beyond to insure that Doss is not found guilty of insubordination, and as a consequence, assures that he will see combat.

My grandfather, a World War II medic, desired to be a doctor but instead earned a Th.D. In one of his enduring sermons, he taught that “faith in Christ is our greatest possession.”

“Hacksaw Ridge” (139 minutes) is showing at the Marshall Cinema with an R-rating for intense but not gratuitous violence. Call (903) 935-5662 or visit for a full list of show times. Then, during this season of faith and miracles, go see the true story of how Desmond Doss, through his faith in Christ, miraculously saved the lives of 75 men amidst “the hellfire of battle without a weapon” to protect himself.

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