Written by Luke Barnes
This film follows the life of army combat medic Desmond Doss, Andrew Garfield, as he serves during World War II without ever using a gun.
This was an incredibly uplifting film. Yes the violence and the death of war are grizzly and are on full display here, but underneath that is a story about a young man just doing what he thinks is right and saving lives, even when those same people call him names and abuse him for his beliefs.
I could have done without the constant religious framing of everything in the film, but hey it is a Mel Gibson picture so what do you expect? I understand the real life person this was based on was deeply religious and it is fundamental to the story, that is not what I am complaining about. What I am complaining about is the use of shots, to give an example the final shot of the film before it cuts to credits sees Doss being carried away on a stretcher, the camera is below and zooming out giving the impression that the stretcher is rising into the heavens- a saint ascending. This bothered me for two reasons one, the character doesn’t die and two, it is far too on the nose.
Moreover, the writing in this film is not good at all. The opening scenes, not the ones when they are children but the ones which show Doss’s early courtship before he went overseas, are so painfully cringe that I almost had to skip through them. The line delivery is off by such a huge margin that I can’t place the blame solely at Garfield’s feet clearly something must have been bad in the script or even the direction.
That aside the performances for the most part were great across the board. I enjoyed Vince Vaughn as a drill sergeant and I thought once again Andrew Garfield shone brightly, proving his clear talent with ease.
Overall, a solid and uplifting war film.
It is inspiring
It doesn’t shy away from showing you the horrors of war
The heavy handed religious metaphors
The dialogue and line delivery during the courtship scenes
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