Most people don’t remember the battle that happened during World War 2 in Okinawa; most people remember Pearl Harbor, D-Day, Battle of Britain, Battle of Midway, Battle of Kursk, etc. But this film reveals the true horror that went down in the Battle of Okinawa and what one man did to save 75 men of his battalion. Risking everything one man saved so many lives and even challenged his own trainee’s so he could fight without putting a hand on a weapon, he even was awarded a medal of honor and was the first medic to be awarded this great honor, this man is Desmond Doss and this is his story told.
In the film: we are taken 17 yrs earlier where 12 yr old Desmond Doss (Darcy Bryce) and his older brother young Harold Doss (Roman Gurriero) live to impress their father Tom Doss (Hugo Weaving) the boys end up fighting the fight gets so violent, Desmond hits his older brother with a brick almost killing his older brother.
15 yrs later Desmond (Andrew Garfield) is helping with putting up the stained glass windows of the church in the town. When Desmond notices a car lands on top of a citizen, Desmond acts fast then helps send the boy to the hospital. When Desmond takes a look at Dorthy (Teresa Palmer) he instantly falls in love and tries winning her heart over in an easy way. He donates his blood, he comes back the next day asking Dorthy out on a date, she accepts. A week later, Harold (Nathaniel Buzolic) comes into the house with his army uniform on but it sickens their father he demands Harold to get out of his sight. While Harold is now away and Desmond tells Dorthy hes going to enlist but not as a military fighter but as a medic. Dorthy tries talking him out of it but Desmond being as stubborn as he refused. But Dorthy requested one thing when he finishes his training he must marry her. She accepts the marriage proposal; Desmond then visits his dad Tom at his friends graves. Tom told Desmond about how the three graves were his best friends they did everything together and in the end he was the one who had to bury all three of them and he doesn’t want to be the one who buries both of his sons. Desmond tries assuring him hes going in training to be a medic not a soldier but it just makes him worry even more but supports his sons decision.
Desmond then gets to the fort base camp of the 77th; when Desmond gets to his bed he meets Milt Zane aka Hollywood (Luke Pegler) who is exercising naked, Desmond looks away meeting Vito (Firass Dirani) when Smity (Luke Bracey) takes a look at Desmond he just thinks of him as a poor excuse of a soldier. Their Sergeant (Vince Vaughn) comes in all stand in attention. Sergeant first names Andy Walker (Goran Kleut) Ghoul because his appearance is like a Ghoul from a horror show. During the training Desmond ends up succeeding in all areas except for when it comes to handling a rifle.
This becomes a problem for Sergeant, so he takes Desmond to Captain Glover (Sam Worthington) who asks what the problem is. Desmond explains he never signed up to be a soldier but as a medic however the Captain brings up the point that he must have a moral code which the U.S. Army doesn’t give a rats ass about. Captain Glover then sends Desmond to undergo a psychiatric observation then get sent home. He passes the psychiatric observation and then goes back to his bed. Smity then plans a night attack to Desmond to try to make him leave but Desmond doesn’t take to it. He refuses to tell Sergeant who outrageously beat him up, which shocks Smity and Desmond stays. When it comes to graduation all pass except for Desmond; Desmond is then court marshaled by refusing to use the ways of a rifle in front of the passing commander. Desmond then awaits in a jail for his court date. Captain Glover then comes a weeks later to give him a chance but when Desmond still refuses, Dorthy comes in to tell him to stop being prideful and just show them how to use a rifle. But Desmond tells Dorthy he can’t and she last tells him if he pleads guilty then theres a chance he will be sent home without rotting away in a maximum prison for the rest of his life.
When it comes to Desmond’s court date, Desmond in front of the court says “I will not plead guilty” which means he will rot in a maximum prison, but just before the hammer could be slammed Tom Doss comes with a letter and a good reason which leads to Desmonds charges to be dropped and he is then shipped to Okinawa. All the people then see what is left of the 76th while hiking to the safe house, which wasn’t that many left. Desmond then meets Lucky Ford (Milo Gibson) who looks like hell covered in ash and blood and also meets Irv (Ori Pfeffer) who tells him some helpful hints to get rid of the medic patches and helmet it is an easy target. The next day the battalion march to the cliff which they will rope climb to get to the top. Everyone climbs to the top once they do the battle begins instantly with soldiers getting shot in the head injured within the arms and chests a lot call for medic which makes Irv and Desmond go into action. Hundreds die or stay injured as they all retreated close to the end of the day calling in an air strike from their marine friends on the sea.
Desmond starts hearing the call for help from his brethren fallen, Desmond then starts going back throughout the night, Captain Glover demands for two soldiers to stay on sight in case any do climb down needing help. Desmond then starts going to each one saving them dragging them to safety always saying “Please Lord, just one more, give me the strength for one more” and over and over again gets the strength of getting one more, just when Desmond is about to save Smity he passes, but in return he saved 76 men which shocks Captain Glover. When they retrieve Desmond he sees all the hard work that paid off but sadly the 76th man he saved Irv died during surgery which made it 75 he saved. When Captain Glover’s General wonder why the battalion is just standing around his answer is “We are waiting for Desmond Doss to finish his prayer for the men” “who the hell is Desmond Doss?” is the generals answer.
When the men go up, they go up strong winning the Battle of Okinawa but not before Desmond is blown away by a grenade when his men get him down he stops saying “my bible, I can’t go anywhere without my bible” One of the men go back to retrieve his bible giving it to Desmond just before he is sent down to get medical attention.
Honestly, I have to admit this film was really graphic and really intense. If you like intense war movies and are looking for a good one this is definitely the best war movie to go see in these days! It truly captures the horror that all these men had to go through during the battle of Okinawa. In 2003 Desmond Doss was interviewed about his time during the war in Hacksaw Ridge aka Battle of Okinawa, sadly in 2006 Desmond Doss passed away this film is in memory and dedicated to the real Desmond Doss. When you see this film feel honored they show you parts of the interview of the real Desmond Doss and feel honored for seeing his life being played out so we all know you don’t have to fight wars with guns not all the time that is.
I rate this film 5 out 5
Hacksaw Ridge is now out in theaters!