movie reelist poster placeholder

The Revenant

Coming Soon

Last year it was Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) that dazzled audiences and ended up taking home four Academy Awards. No disrespect to Michael Keaton, Emma Stone or Ed Norton but director Alejandro G. Iñárritu has an upgrade in cast talent for his latest feature. Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy are Iñárritu’s two big heavyweights in The Revenant. I’ll be honest and I’m probably not the only one who felt this way, Birdman “The Unexpected Oscar Winner” came out of nowhere to pummel its competition. This time around expectations will be high which may or may not lead to a sophomore slump. Either way, this latest work will definitely be a discussion piece so let’s get right into it.
The 1820s were very perilous times for many different reasons. The Revenant, based on true events, details the life of one man who faced countless dangers and seemingly insurmountable odds in an effort to exact revenge on those that left him for dead. Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a frontiersman who travels with a young Native American named Hawk (Forrest Goodluck). Hugh assists his fellow countrymen in tracking animals for their pelts as well as hopefully keeping them safe from aggressive Indian tribes that also roam the area. Things go bad at a certain point and Glass is brutally attacked by a bear leaving him on the doorstep of death. The group attempts to transport him back to their encampment but the terrain proves to be too difficult to navigate with the “dead weight” of Glass. The tough decision is made to leave him behind to allow him to pass on naturally. The leader of the group, Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson), allows John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) and Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) along with Hawk to stay behind to ensure his comfort. John has other plans however which sets up the amazing, yet grueling story that is to follow.
To witness some of what life living in the 1820s was like is very humbling when we are busy whining about how bad traffic is or what some wannabe politician is babbling about on the airwaves. The Revenant takes us back to before all that madness and into a different type of madness. To the credit of both Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy, they both went all out in their portrayals of authentic frontiersmen. After watching the movie you should come away with more appreciation of each actor as they continue to wow audiences with their performances. The other supporting actors were just okay but these two stand out.
The scenery was a sight to behold, and if you can see it on a large format screen, you might enjoy it even further. The realism is definitely one of the stronger points of The Revenant. Once things start rolling, every element of the movie seems to become important and filled with unnerving tension. While the action sequences are not prevalent throughout, it doesn’t mean that you’ll have much time to get bored. There’s a good deal of complexity involved when it gets right down to it. Having said that though, I cannot promise that you still won’t become bored at times. There’s just no getting around that part of it.
The Revenant is unrelenting in its methods to show just how dangerous living in this era was. Hostile forces were everywhere. One can easily argue that this is a statement that goes both, rather all ways depending on what side you’re looking at it from. Seth MacFarlane made a western comedy called A Million Ways to Die in the West a couple of years back. The same could be said about the happenings in the unsettled west in regards to the events in this movie. While slow moving in certain areas, the story is still engaging as Hugh Glass’s sheer will and determination propels him towards survival and eventual retribution. There is no glitz, glamour nor pizazz to be found, and yet, The Revenant still finds a way to shine in its own way.

The Revenant is streaming now on the following services:
Movie Reelist Contributor: Carl Wheeler

Leave a comment...