This is going to be one of the more interesting box office experiments we’ve seen in awhile. (You can read my review of the movie here.)
The upcoming World War II movie Hacksaw Ridge is a bundle of contradictions. Liberals will like cheer the story – and trailer (below) – of an Army medic who, as a conscientious objector, served on the battlefield without ever carrying a weapon or firing a shot. Where they’ll be skeptical is what will intrigue conservatives: the director, Mel Gibson.
Reviled on the Left for anti-Semitic and sexist drunken meltdowns but largely forgiven by the Right for his inspiring films of sacrifice ranging from Braveheart to The Passion of the Christ, Gibson’s latest movie will likely be met with cautious optimism by both sides of the ideological aisle.
Liberals will love the film’s themes while being wary of who’s delivering them, while Conservatives could prove to be the inverse (although Evangelicals – even of the flag-waving jingoist variety – will no doubt be moved by the fact that Desmond Doss, the real-life hero, acted according to his own personal Christian convictions). Gibson haters in particular could find themselves in a bit of a quandary; on one hand they’ll want to see this story, but on the other hand they won’t want to give Mel their money.
It’s telling that Gibson’s name never appears in the trailer.
The one thing everyone will probably agree on: Desmond Doss deserved the Congressional Medal of Honor he was awarded.
Starring Andrew Garfield (The Amazing Spider-Man), the cast also includes Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, Hugo Weaving, and Rachel Griffiths.
Written by Braveheart scribe Randall Wallace, Mel Gibson’s first directorial effort in a decade hits theaters on November 4, 2016.