Mel Gibson‘s Hacksaw Ridge, a patriotic war film that recalls Howard Hawks‘ Sergeant York, is being research-screened this evening in Sherman Oaks. Pic is based on the saga of U.S. Army medic Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a conscientious objector who earned the Medal of Honor for single-handedly saving the lives of over 75 soldiers during the Battle of Okinawa in 1945. Hawks film was about Alvin C. York, a Tennessee native whose 1917 application for conscientious objector status was denied. During a World War I battle in France York was given the Medal of Honor for capturing 32 machine guns, killing at least 20 German soldiers and capturing 132 others.
Despite the presumed jingoistic content of Hacksaw Ridge I’d rather see this in Cannes than Mel’s badass-dad-vs.-Latino-gangbanger flick, Blood Father. The action-thriller, directed by Jean-Francois Richet, will screen as a midnight attraction. The trailer indicates that it’s pure exploitation.
Written by Gregory Crosby, Robert Schenkkan and Randall Wallace (director of We Were Soldiers, the 2002 rightwing patriotic Vietnam War film that Gibson starred in), Hacksaw Ridge costars Vince Vaughn (another conservative), Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Ryan Corr, Teresa Palmer, Richard Pyros and Rachel Griffiths.