Mel Gibson

Films in Focus: Destroyer

No stranger to war films (Braveheat, The Patriot, We Were Soldiers, Hacksaw Ridge), Mel Gibson has picked up the directing baton once again to lead his next big budget film, Destroyer. Interestingly enough, Destroyer marks the second time he will return to Okinawa, the closing battle of WWII’s campaign in the Pacific in which the US Marines, Army and Navy paid a terrible price to wrest control of the island from the Japanese. His 2016 film, Hacksaw Ridge, about pacifist medic Desmond Doss’ heroic efforts to save wounded soldiers during the allied assault on the island received wide critical acclaim and was a commercial success. This time around, he’ll be manning the anti-aircraft guns aboard the USS Laffey (DD-724). Laffey, as USNI News points out, is famous for surviving a relentless attack by two dozen kamikaze aircraft while serving on radar picket duty early in the campaign to capture Okinawa. Laffey sustained substantial damage when it was struck by six planes and four bombs, yet was able to stay afloat and continue to fight.

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