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YNMS: Hacksaw Ridge

Murtada here. Brace yourselves, Mel Gibson might be trying a comeback. He appeared this past spring at Cannes with Blood Father, a violent revenge thriller that may be released later this year. And now a decade after Apocalypto (2006), we get the trailer for his next directing effort, Hacksaw Ridge. The film is based on the real life story of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector medic who served in the Battle of Okinawa, refusing to take a gun and going on to save many lives.

A Venice out of competition slot, a November release date in the heart of fall season, a respected albeit young leading man (Andrew Garfield) playing a real life hero from WW2. A lot of signs indicating that this might be a major 2016 release. Are we ready to start seeing magazine cover stories about Gibson’s redemption? Before all that, let’s examine the trailer after the jump......


“With the world so set on tearing itself apart, it don’t seem like such a bad thing to me to want to put a little bit of it back together”

  • This is a sentiment that fits right into this turbulent and very violent year. If Gibson can turn that into a vivid cinematic experience, he would hit gold.
  • Garfield is a TFE cause celebre to get his mojo back. With complete silence on Silence,  this might be his better chance to get back to the ranks of leading men we care about.
  • Braveheart (1995) is not a good film, but Gibson proved his facility with big violent battle scenes; this war story fits well with that aesthetic. 


You better come home to me 

  • The trope of the “love of a good woman”seems to be Teresa Palmer’s role. Is there more?
  • Where is Rachel Griffiths? Why isn’t she in the trailer? Is she just “mom”?
  • There's a lot of earnestness in the dialogue which is the antithesis of good drama. 

Maybe so

While everybody else is taking life, I'm gonna be saving it

- Would this movie about faith work for some of us atheists? With Gibson at the helm I have many doubts.
- The film was shot in Gibson’s homeland, Australia, so we understand why Hugo Weaving and Griffiths were cast. But Sam Worthington, really? Hasn’t he become the punchline for once promising but now stalled careers?
- Same goes for Vince Vaughn. Kudos to the casting director who obviously believes in giving people another chance.

Here is the trailer:

I’m maybe so because I want the Garfield of Never Let Me Go (2010) back on the big screen. However I could do without ever seeing another Gibson film. Where do you stand on Hacksaw Ridge?

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Reader Comments (17)

Between the earnestness and that accent I'm leaning no. I'm game for complex examinations of faith that highlight how faith might be deployed positively (as we too often see the opposite) but this is seeming more like pandering. It's a shame because I find the elements of the story intriguing and, as you suggest, very timely.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercatbaskets

When did Garfield lose his mojo?

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterPaul Outlaw

Yeah, I'm a no, mostly based on that accent, which seems "Keanu in Dracula" bad.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterVolvagia

The accent is distracting. And Gibson the auteur is manic which is a compliment. Maybe so with a definite will see regardless unless the reviews are laughably cruel.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commenter/3rtful

I don't know man. I'm all for comebacks and I like Garfield (I mostly just like Garfield in Never Let Me Go) but there are too many comebacks in that one which leads me to suspect that maybe the project was not attractive enough for actors who can pick. And frankly this year is begging for a movie that deals with current issues. I'm at a point where any movie or documentary of a historic political nature seems irrelevant. I'm an unfortunate solid No.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTony T

I still like Mel Gibson but..... I don't know....

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterSteven

I last liked Gibson movie about 20 yrs ago that was Ransom.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commentermark

lol Catbaskets - I 100% agree that the earnestness and the accents are truly terrible.
Bad enough for Garfield to win a Razzie? Maybe!

It is a shame really because I would love for Gibson to have a comeback. Despite all that has happened, the guy is actually a super talented director but this script looks like utter shit.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterAnonny

I love that "Keanu in Dracula" is a standard fir bad acting. Yes, and I love that movie.

I think The Passion of the Christ is a great movie, but I hate Braveheart.

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

Maybe so on this movie tho

July 30, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterCraver

I found the line about Sam Worthington rather cruel. If anything, roles like this are exactly where Worthington should have been the entire time and as much as there are actors we all don't jive with, this isn't a lead role and so you're kind of suggesting he should just never be allowed to act again. He *has* been good, even great, before (Somersault, by far the best thing in Cake, oddly enough, and other Australian fare).

I'm kinda sensing this will be a big tearjerker type of film, but Gibson's biggest mission will be somehow making a film about a pacifist that doesn't ultimately end up glorifying violence. I shudder to think at all the people who'll go see this movie and praise the war sequences, conveniently forgetting who the movie is even about. Garfield was so good in 99 Homes so his comeback has already happened for me.

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I'm in. Andrew sounds just like Doss. People that don't know what they are talking about regarding his accent. Just a bunch of downers. Mel is the best caster EVER, period.

This film is awesome says all that have seen it. Mel is back and great as ever!!

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterClem

I'm a NO for this. For reasons of Mel Gibson.

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterV.

Garfield's accent is fine, and this movie looks good ( so does Andrew). I'm a yes.

And ditto what Glenn on the gratuitous Sam Worthington slap.

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterRoark

Glenn - my Worthington comment was mostly a joke because of that funny Pajiba article I linked to. Also a joke, Cake as defence of anyone's career,

All - re the accent - I never write about accents because I don't care how an actor sounds as long as they are emotionally connected to the character and material. But glad to see some mention that Andrew's good.

July 31, 2016 | Registered CommenterMurtada Elfadl

All of the immediate hate for anything Mel Gibson related has been become increasingly trite over the last couple of years. With all the abusive, alcoholic, drug addicted, racist artists that have come and gone in Hollywood since it's inception, I find it pretty hypocritical that many have these blinders when it comes to anything this man touches and seem to enjoy just tearing down any attempt he makes to create new projects. Yes, the man clearly has a problem with alcohol and his over-zealous religious views of others, but Is it really all that difficult to separate an individual's private, personal life from their creative output? He's no Phil Spector, Chris Benoit or even a Robert Blake.
I'm a maybe so btw, not entirely convinced this won't be another Unbreakable type of cloying triumph of the human spirit movies. This opinion is only based on the trailer, and not my pre-conceived notions about Mel Gibson so feel free to disregard.

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered CommenterTheCinescape


Mel Gibson puts the person he is into his movies, so if you don't like who he is, you probably won't like his movies. Directors are not the same as musicians and actors. They actually create the piece and put their beliefs and worldviews into them. Sean Penn doesn't beat me up when I go to one of his movies, but Mel Gibson does.

July 31, 2016 | Unregistered Commentervladdy

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