It’s been 10 years since controversy lightning-rod Mel Gibson got behind the camera, creating the blood-soaked Mesoamerican adventure Apocalypto in 2006. And the newly released first trailer for the religious war drama Hacksaw Ridge. suggests he still has a taste for religious, violent and epic filmmaking.
The film chronicles the life and times of Desmond T. Doss (Andrew Garfield), a practicing Seventh-Day Adventist who served during World War II. His faith forbade him from fighting in combat, so the conscientious objector volunteered his services as a medic; he’d save the lives of over 75 of his fellow troops during the Battle of Okinawa.
“While everybody’s out there takin’ life, I’m gonna be savin’ it,” Doss declares. “That’ll be my way to serve.” The trailer shows his earliest struggles to reconcile his religious convictions with his duty to his country, as he gently explains to his Army higher-ups that he can’t, and won’t, touch a gun. “I don’t think this is a question of religion,” one bully tells him, “I think it’s a question of cowardice.” But Doss stays true to his beliefs, firmly stating, “With the world so set on tearin’ itself apart, don’t seem like a bad thing to me to try to put a little bit of it back together.”
Hacksaw Ridge costars Sam Worthington, Vince Vaughn, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer and Luke Bracey. It opens November 4th. Whether the film will be as divisive as Gibson’s retelling of the gospels The Passion of the Christ (2004) remains to be seen.