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Film Releases: A soldier and his internal war

Hacksaw Ridge (15, 139 mins)

Desmond (Andrew Garfield) is born and raised with his brother Hal (Nathaniel Buzolic) in Lynchburg, Virginia, against the picturesque backdrop of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

His father Tom (Hugo Weaving) is an emotionally scarred veteran of the First World War and mother Bertha (Rachel Griffiths) educates her brood using The Bible.

At an early age, Desmond almost kills Hal and is haunted by the episode. Desmond takes up a vow of pacifism, even when he enrols in the US Army and intends to follow the lead of his nurse girlfriend, Dorothy Schutte (Teresa Palmer), and serve as a medic. However, Desmond is ushered into combat training under no-nonsense Sergeant Howell (Vince Vaughn).

Hacksaw Ridge pulls no punches in its depiction of the horrors of conflict.

Garfield delivers a mesmerizing lead performance, as a gentle and caring man who yearns to serve the country he loves, but isn't willing to abandon his moral compass in the name of patriotism.

T2 can't track its past glories

T2 Trainspotting (18, 107 mins)

Choose a flabby-bellied two hours rather than a lean 93 minutes of the original to follow Mark Renton (Ewan McGregor) as he returns home to beg forgiveness from Spud (Ewen Bremner).

Choose revenge, the poison coursing through the veins of reluctant publican Sick Boy (Jonny Lee Miller) when he discovers Renton is back in town.

Choose seething rage, which drips from the tongue of psychotic jailbird Begbie (Robert Carlyle) as he finally glimpses life without bars. Choose a detour to the familiar breathtaking vista of Corrour rail station, framed by the rounded hill of Beinn na Lap, to pay tribute to those left behind.

Choose Spud as the trembling, emotional core, willing him to succeed as he struggles to sever ties to heroin and discover self-worth.

Choose the sinking realisation that the giddy high of the first time you watched Trainspotting - that breathless sprint down Princes Street to Iggy Pop's Lust For Life, the head-first plunge into the worst toilet in Scotland, the needle drop of Underworld's Born Slippy - isn't going to be replicated.

Damon Smith

Belfast Telegraph

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