Despite his mainstream career, A-list status, and reputation effectively being ended by a string of scandals, Mel Gibson got his foot back in the Hollywood door ever so slightly when he stepped back behind the camera to direct the acclaimed Hacksaw Ridge.
While it hardly restored his name to former glories, the stirring true-life war epic was a major success nonetheless, bringing in $180 million at the box office on a $40 million budget, before going on to land six Academy Award nominations including Best Picture and Best Director, ultimately walking away with two wins for Best Sound Mixing and Best Film Editing.
Headlined by a phenomenal Andrew Garfield performance, one that landed him his first Best Actor nod at the Oscars, Hacksaw Ridge recounts the bravery of Desmond Doss, who experienced World War II unlike anyone else. Even though he refused to carry a weapon on religious grounds, Doss saved 75 lives during the Battle of Okinawa as a medic, all without firing a single shot.
It’s the type of bravery and heroism that would sound scarcely believable if it hadn’t actually happened, and it brought Doss’ story to a wider audience than ever before. HBO Max subscribers are now discovering Hacksaw Ridge in their numbers, too, after the often harrowing but always gripping epic landed a Top 10 position on the most-watched charts in 20 countries, as per FlixPatrol.
Comfortably one of the 21st Century’s finest war movies, one that comes bearing a powerful message in among the haunting depictions of battle and sacrifice, Hacksaw Ridge is inspiring and incredible stuff.