The Revenant |2015 | Dir. Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu | 2 hours 36 minutes | Fox
Leonardo DiCaprio famously froze to death in 1997’s Titanic.
In 2016’s The Revenant, Leo (almost) freezes to death, gets mauled/ raped by a bear, sleeps in a horse carcass, eats a raw buffalo, falls off a cliff and gets stabbed repeatedly. Sound like fun?
Escape to a world of freezing snow, vicious men and vengeful bears. Watch The Revenant. Watch people suffer for two and a half hours.
The Revenant essentially has the same plot as Jeremiah Johnson, Robert Redford’s equally boring but more uplifting Western odyssey. In the mid/early 1800s, a party of hunters and trappers meanders along the Louisiana Purchase and meets one ill fate after another. A bear mauls experienced hunter Hugh Glass (Leo) when he is separated from his party. His companions have varying degrees of loyalty towards Hugh, but they chose to leave him with the biggest dick in the land, John (Tom Hardy). Hugh’s half- Native son, Hawk (hip name!), comes along.
John wanted to kill Hugh before the bear mauling and nothing changes after. John stabs Hawk and leaves Hugh for dead. But “revenant” means someone who returns from the dead, so those of us with dictionaries know Hugh will rise again.
The next two hours of the movie depict Hugh battling elements, Indians and Frenchmen in pursuit of John’s life. But really, the story represents a man- versus- nature conflict. In the end, Hugh decides “revenge is in God’s hands”. Like Hugh’s entire life. Who falls off a 100 foot cliff and lives? This guy.
Everyone in this movie looks half dead. Cast and crew reported hellish working conditions, and this movie feels like hell. Leo really ate raw bison and slept in a horse carcass. Bear mauling was staged.
Normally I have good things to say about these movies’ aesthetics. At first it seems like The Revenant will have gorgeous Terrence Malick- style cinematography, but we get so many low- angle shots and 360 panoramas that they start feeling cliche. I probably saw up everyone’s nostrils.
During the final showdown, so much blood and snot splatters the “camera” that it feels kinda Paranormal Activity. While the filmed wilderness looks beautiful, it’s also Canada. To this day no one lives in Canada. I have a hard time believing the Louisiana Purchase was this bloody cold ever. Despite the horrendous physical torture endured by humans and animals, the wilderness looks more picturesque than punishing.
Everything about this movie seems designed to win Leo the Oscar. Leo has several factors working for him:
- Leo’s been nominated 7 times, so the Oscar is long overdue.
- Alejandro Gonzales Iñárritu, whose film won Oscars for Best Director/Picture/Actor last year, directs.
- Leo shows his butt
- The actor suffered from “constant hypothermia” and performed many of the grizzly on- screen acts. You know who loves suffering? The Academy.
I think Leo should have won for 2004’s The Aviator. Enough is enough. Give the boy an Oscar. And please never make a movie like this again.