February 12, 2017

Cinema Sins in Hacksaw Ridge

I finally got to see Mel Gibson’s World War II drama Hacksaw Ridge. Overall, I think it’s a great piece of filmmaking. Gibson’s direction is on point. The cinematography is fantastic. The acting is good. Andrew Garfield, Teresa Palmer, Sam Worthington, Rebecca Griffiths, and Hugo Weaving all played their parts well. Even Vince Vaughn, that guy from The Wedding Crashers, did a nice job as a drill sergeant. Hacksaw Ridge is without a doubt one of Gibson’s best films. It’s one of those films that you wouldn’t mind seeing for the second or third time around. It has drama. It has action. It even has bits of well-done comedy.

However, there are scenes in the film that make you scratch your head. Did those soldiers really think that that is a good idea? Launching yourself in the air to kick a grenade back at the enemy. Really? Below are some of the scenes in the film that I found to be logically flawed. These are just the ones that I can remember. I’m sure there are more senseless bits in the film that have escaped my memory.

1. The attack on Hacksaw Ridge
So there’s this really high cliff. Draped over a portion of the cliff wall is a net of ropes. In the movie, this net is what the soldiers use to climb over the cliff and attack the Japanese soldiers camped above. What I found to be mind-boggling about the net is why didn’t the Japanese soldiers cut it down? Why did they let it just hang there when it’s the only way for the American troops to scale the cliff. It’s not that it’s impossible to destroy the net. If you watch the movie until the end, you can see that it wouldn’t have been that hard to destroy the net. Either the Japanese are too stupid or the net is made of indestructible ropes that the Japanese wouldn’t even bother destroying it.

2. Grenade volleyball
There are several scenes in the film wherein the American and Japanese troops play grenade volleyball. A Jap throws a grenade and a soldier from the other side picks it up and throws it back. These are of course possible and no doubt have been done in real wars. But the scene where Desmond Doss (the protagonist in the film) launches himself into the air to kick a grenade back to the enemy was over the top.

3. Holding a rifle is bad but throwing a grenade at the enemy is not so bad
Desmond doesn’t want to hold a rifle because he doesn’t want to take human lives. However, there was this scene where Desmond picks up a grenade thrown at them by the Japanese and lobs it back to the enemy. Isn’t throwing a grenade at the enemy worse than firing a rifle at them?

4. The tunnel scene with Desmond and a wounded Japanese soldier
Desmond ran to a tunnel with Japanese soldiers in pursuit. With his back against a hidden wall in the tunnel, Desmond let a few Japanese soldiers run by. Seconds later, he turns his face and finds himself staring into a wounded Japanese soldier’s face. Why the hell didn’t the Japanese soldier scream to seek help from his comrades who flew by just mere seconds ago?
5. Running away from the Japanese
When a superior of Desmond was shot in both legs, he can’t walk nor run. A swarm of Japanese soldiers are quickly making their way towards the two American soldiers. Desmond places the wounded soldier on top of what looks like a sleeping bag and starts pulling him to safety. All the while, the wounded soldier sits there on the bag shooting at the Japs pursuing them. What doesn’t make sense in this scene is how fast and effortless it seems for Desmond to drag the heavy soldier through all the scattered rocks and debris. It looked like he’s dragging the wounded soldier through a slippery marble floor. The ground there shouldn’t be that smooth after being bombarded for days by American ships docked at the bay.





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