“The Revenant”: Exhausting and Exhilarating Odyssey of Revenge

https://youtu.be/QRfj1VCg16Y

[John’s Review] [Anthony’s Review]

THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.

The Revenenant is a triumph and there’s more than 1 reason why. There are so many moving parts in this film, so many points of failure that could make this movie crash and burn that it’s a wonder how it was able to achieve its goals and turns out as great as it is.

First off the movie is a western. Yes, a western and these movies don’t often get much attention in today’s world of films that are heavy sci-fi, super hero, or both. A western alone is a point of failure that this movie manages to overcome and turn into a benefit.

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The Effects- Those of you who have seen this movie will think for a moment and wonder “What CGI”. No, they didn’t let a real bear sit their and maul on Leonardo DiCaprio’s back for 5-10 minute segments. In actuality that wonderful cinematic moment was something referred to as a “Computer Generated Image” or CGI for short with a mix of this forgotten method of film making that used to be referred to as “practical effects”. Yes, it was that damn good. The mix of practical film making made the CGI superfluous to the more traditional methods of film making but the fact that it went unnoticed is not something that should be overlooked.

the_revenant_03The acting –  Enough gushing about Leonardo DiCaprio, can we talk about Tom Hardy for a second? For most films a hero is only as strong as its villain. The Dark Knight had Heath Ledger’s Joker, Casino Royale had Mads Mikkelsen, and The Revenant has Tom Hardy who’s making up for The Dark Knight Rises’ Bane. His turn as John Fitzgerald is downright infuriating. He’s a guy doing incredibly heinous and unforgivable things that but does so under the belief of self-preservation. He’s a guy who has to do awful things in order to survive and I can’t help but wonder if the same thoughts would race through my mind in a comparable situation. He’s incredibly calculated and sometimes even seems to wrestle with his decisions but those decisions he chooses are the tings that make you Glass hate him. He’s amazing in this role and deserves some recognition for the effort.

Leonardo DiCaprio does a great job in his role and he’s a consistently great actor but I can’t help but feel that Hardy may have stolen some of the show from DiCaprio. DiCaprio does a fantastic job and this may be a scenario where I’m hard pressed to say one was better than the other rather than one made more of an impression than the other.

The story of the Revenant is a simple one. A man who was left for dead wants revenge on the folks who left him. The simplicity in the story makes it seem almost instinctual and primal and that is an effective tool in story telling. I don’t need to know much more about the character other than he was wronged and I can instantly relate. It’s quite elequent in its own way because its so relatable.

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The Direction –  The Revenant can be tough to watch. There are scenes that literally made me squirm in my seat and… close my eyes. Yes, it was that intense and the ferocity of what was put on film and projected in front of me was just too much for this simple writer more than once. Bravo. It’s been far too long since I saw a movie say “this is just too real for me”. The muted palette on the screen lends itself well to the environment of the bitter cold frontier and adds some sort of visual grit that I didn’t fully appreciate until hindsight set in. The idea of washing a film with a certain color is not new but it’s still very effective.

Rewatchability – I want to see the Revenant again. I Want to see if I can watch those scenes that made me turn my head. I want to see if there are more details that I missed. There’s a lot that happened to Glass in his journey to survive and those little moments woven together create a great film that I want to make sure I didn’t overlook. Why? Because it’s that friggin good and there are few films outside of a Chistopher Nolan movie that evoke that sort of response out of me. I NEED to make sure I understood everything and didn’t miss anything.

Overall this is a great movie. Might not be the best ‘date’ movie but it’s certainly one of those movies youw ant to see and give your full attention to while watching. This movie may not be for everyone because it’s slower paced, a western, and downright gruesome at times. IF you want to see something that will make you want to hold your pee rather than miss a scene then you should definitely check out the Revenant and brace yourself.

[John’s Review] [Anthony’s Review]

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THE REVENANT is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.

The Revenenant is a triumph and there’s more than 1 reason why. There are so many moving parts in this film, so many points of failure that could make this movie crash and burn that it’s a wonder how it was able to achieve its goals and turns out as great as it is.

revenant

Academy Award winner Alejandro González Iñárritu (“Birdman”) directed, co-wrote and co-produced “The Revenant” with the indisputable intent of transporting his audience back to the primitive and animalistic conditions inherent to the brutal and untamed North American wilderness of the early 19th Century.  Having experienced this masterpiece in modern filmmaking now myself, I feel qualified to deliver the following declaration in the most resounding manner possible…MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!!!

With each stunning scene of grim grandeur Iñárritu passed before my eyes, I was unwaveringly riveted, hurtled headlong, swept into every successive moment, captivated in a whirling dervish of surging vitality. From ultra-violent Native (and non-indigenous) American ambushes, to excruciatingly crude cleansing of heinous bodily wounds, to a Grizzly Bear mauling that for all the world appears to be actually happening, I was rendered at once exhausted and exhilarated in the wake of a furiously unrelenting assault on my emotions.

revenant-gallery-02-gallery-imageStarring Leonardo DiCaprio in the role of his career as real-life frontier legend Hugh Glass, “The Revenant” is a ferociously ambitious epic, presented essentially in three distinct acts: Escape, Survival and Revenge.  Tom Hardy’s perfect performance as reprehensible antagonist and the reviled target of Glass’s relentless scorn, John Fitzgerald, serves to further solidify the richly gifted actor, together with DiCaprio, among the genuine elite of their craft.

There is a deeply effecting, albeit brief, Epilogue to “The Revenant”, as the nearly two and a half hours of full-force frenzy that has preceded it comes to a movingly quiet climax.

An unspeakably tortured soul has found peace.  At the end of a long and agonizing odyssey, and at long last, enduring peace.

[John’s Review] [Anthony’s Review]

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Overall
9.8/10
9.8/10
  • Acting - 10/10
    10/10
  • Cinematography - 10/10
    10/10
  • Plot/Screenplay - 9/10
    9/10
  • Setting/Theme - 10/10
    10/10
  • Buyability - 10/10
    10/10
  • Recyclability - 10/10
    10/10

About Anthony Whyte

Content Manager | Senior Editor | Daydreamer | Keep your head on a swivel and don't blink

4 thoughts on ““The Revenant”: Exhausting and Exhilarating Odyssey of Revenge

  1. Agreed. This guy is one of my favorites-if you haven’t already, you really need to see his astonishing one-man performance in “Locke”.

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