TYLER O'NEIL AT PJMEDIA HAS WRITTEN A CHALLENGING, SPOT-ON REVIEW of the newly released movie, Hacksaw Ridge, and makes the point that while we Americans pay lip service to the importance of religious freedom, we rarely use this freedom and take stands that might cost us comfort, pain, rejection and even death. This movie tells the story of Desmond Doss a army medic in World War II who fights for the right to live out his faith, then goes on to live it under the most harrowing, blood circumstances at Okinawa on Hacksaw Ridge.
I/We saw this movie last night and can say without reservation, it is the most violent, bloody movie I've ever seem. Still it is a paragon of how a man or woman of principle, especially religious principle, is sometimes called to take a stand and let the chips fall where they may against the most horrific of extreme conditions.
Still, I highly recommend this movie as a historical reminder of how our country took stands against oppressive regimes and enemies and also for true inspiration as to how heroes are made and serve. We live in a world of extreme comfotr, instant gratification, distraction and affluence today where few of us even know ourselves or God well enough to know what we believe in or what we stand for. This movie shows the way of a man of God and principle who follows His calling no matter what. See this movie and prepare yourself for a momentous movie experience. O'Neill writes:
Mel Gibson's Hacksaw Ridge is easily one of the best films of the year (89 percent on Rotten Tomatoes), but it's not primarily due to cinematic effects. Perhaps better than any other, the movie portrays the vital struggle for religious freedom, and what a Christian must do with that hard-won victory.
Indeed, Hacksaw Ridge is really two movies — one about fighting for religious freedom, and another about the heroism of Christian faith in the face of hellish adversity. One about achieving the freedom to live out the faith, and one about how to honor that freedom. It tells the heroic tale of Desmond Doss, a conscientious objector who felt it his duty to serve in World War II, but who refused to take up arms.
Doss — played by Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spiderman, 2012) — calls himself a "conscientious cooperator" and explains that he wants to serve on the battlefield, but he has a problem with "carrying a gun and taking a human life." His solution? Become a battlefield medic.
From the beginning, Doss struggles to follow his conscience. He earnestly believes he must fight in the war, despite pressure from his father (and later his commanding officer) to stay home and let others fight for him. He also earnestly believes it is wrong to kill, and he refuses to even touch a rifle, no matter how much it costs him. As he tells his wife, "I don't know how I'm gonna live with myself if I don't stay true to what I believe."
His commanding officer does not take kindly to that idea. When Doss refuses to train with a rifle, the squad mocks him. In a disgusting moment, his fellow soldier drags him through the mud, saying, "I don't think this is a matter of religion. I think this is cowardice."