Hacksaw Ridge is a cowboy movie unlike any I have seen in many years. It’s brutal and difficult to watch but rewards strong stomachs with an emotional punch that exceeds every other movie released last year. Time and time again, Mel Gibson knocks it out of the park and I for one have given up being surprised by the Australian wild man’s cinematic genius.
As ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye, Mel Gibson plays a movie villain for the first time in his career and boy does it pay off! We are used to Mel Gibson’s performance as the suave and charming hero so it was a daring departure for him to play against type as conniving, cruel ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye.
Unfortunately, Gibson is so good in his role that he steals the movie from the protagonist played by Chris Evans. Evans’ character was so forgettable that I don’t remember his name or anything about him. I think he had a beard, or maybe an earring.
The scene that has grabbed most attention from critics and audiences alike is when ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye takes out his hacksaw and cleanses in a river of blood all the Jews and other undesirables that are streaming out West and fundamentally changing its wild nature. Though some have complained about the historical inaccuracy of this scene, you can’t deny its dramatic impact. Without it, the movie would have felt empty and pointless.
TL;DR – Hacksaw Ridge features realistic scenes of gore and slaughter to lay the groundwork for a gripping Western that honors traditional faith and the courage of fighting for what’s white.
What the rest of the critics are saying:
“This is a vile and hateful movie full of stereotypes, slurs, and gratuitous violence.” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
“The cinematic equivalent of a pogrom.” – Dagmar Potkya, Philadelphia Inquirer
“I walked out of this trash. I don’t know where Mel Gibson keeps finding collaborators for his snuff films meant to incite violence against minorities, but I don’t have to keep watching them, that’s for sure.” – Javier Perez, Cinepremiere
“…inadvertently reveals the the most malevolent subtexts of the classic Hollywood Western.” – Anthony Lane, The New Yorker
“The scene where ‘Ol Sheriff One-Eye speaks in tongues while pinning yellow stars on the jackets and vests of the frightened shopkeepers of the town must be seen to be believed. I wish I didn’t see it so I didn’t have to believe that it exists in the world.” – Eric D. Snider, EricDSnider.com
“Look, if you want to see Mel Gibson as ‘Ol Sheriff One Eye indiscriminately slaughtering the weak and indigent you should probably seek out counseling or some other form of psychiatric help.” – Clemente Giglio, TheWrap
65% liquid & seed retention – CERTIFIED JUICY™
Note on Melonmeter® Score: Though critics have by and large repudiated the Oscar-nominated Hacksaw Ridge for being nothing more than anti-semitic propaganda, I enjoyed it for it was – an modern update on the classic Western – and therefore have intervened to elevate the Melonmeter score from the low twenties to just over the benchmark so that it can be CERTIFIED JUICY™