This film, when I saw its trailer in theaters, I did not look forward to seeing it. The trailers painted it in a such a cliche way that seemed to appeal to the conservative audience too much. Though this is based on the true story of Desmond Doss’ becoming an American Hero during World War II. Though the cliches are there they aren’t as prevelant as advertised. The relationship between him and Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer) was really strong in the film. Though she doesn’t have as many scenes as Andrew Garfield does, she does have a lasting impact, sprinkled throughout the film.
Andrew Garfield really transformed himself in this role to portray this real life hero. The accents across the board are spot on and you don’t feel like any of these Australian actors are trying to hard to nail those tones. I could tell that the scenery was not Virginia. The film was shot in Australia, the home of Mel Gibson — as well as many actors in the picture. Aside from that the only other negative I had with the film is some of the visual effects. At the end there was a scene where I felt Andrew Garfield was deliberately behind a green screen.
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.
But one of the best surprises about the film is how good of a war film it is. Mel really puts you into the action and shocks you with how honestly brutal it can be. It isn’t glamorized to be this melancholy event, but more of true life where yes people live and people die but its the actions they make in the battle that scars so many veterans today that they can’t ever get over the atrocities committed. The violence, I felt, never went over the line. I thought that it was necessary to be at that level to not only keep the audience engaged — but to do something more, that was meaningful not only to show Desmond Doss’ patriotism but to show his true life story.
The story of Desmond Doss I felt was very well told. From the beginning as a child to where he almost killed his brother with a brick to his decision to follow the 10 Commandments, especially the commandment of “Thou Shall Not Kill”, to him enlisting to show his patriotism and for refusing to not pick up a gun shows how brave he was as an American. He didn’t want to cause death and he eventually was able to fight in the war that he so desperately wanted to serve for America.
This is one of the best war movies out there. Though it doesn’t do much as far as bringing much new to the table other than being brutally honest, it is worth watching!