This film didn’t blow me away, no pun intended, in any stretch of the imagination. Watching this film was like seeing something that was done before by Steven Spielberg, Saving Private Ryan (1998) or Clint Eastwood, Flags of Our Fathers & Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), Mel Gibson’s direction throughout this film was average at best. He turned a heroic story into an over done glorified Christian, bible-based, anti-war film. I found Desmond Doss’s character was a self-righteous, disillusioned individual who knew what he was getting into when he enlisted in the Army even though he was a conscientious objector and refused to handle a weapon. These actions caused the final plot point that carried the film to its final complex, resolution, and overdone conclusion. I found Andrew Garfield’s depiction of Desmond Doss to be unconvincing, unrealistic, and hard to believe throughout the film.
The films character development was lacking substance and that was made clear in the script, each character had the same identity as the next; they all believed that Doss was wrong in his beliefs, considering him a coward for what he stood for, and not worthy of fighting beside them in combat. When they all attacked him in his sleep, he stayed to his pacifistic ways by not fighting back, he stuck to his moral and ethical values. In the film Doss was portrayed as a simple, not well educated, dim-witted hick from Arkansas who’s only formal education came from the bible.
However, many expert film critics, such as indiewire.com have this film listed as a contender for a number of the major categories for the up-coming Academy Awards in February. I don’t believe that this movie will get any nominations, not when you consider, you can only nominate up to ten films for Best Picture, and five nominees in the rest of the major Oscar categories.
Overall, I would grade this film a C- because it was average at best, average directing, average, acting, and it was an average to unoriginal story about war, which has been done over and over again, but on a grander scale than this one. I reviewed this film, November 4th, during its opening weekend, sorry for the delay on my film Review.