Movie Title: The Revenant
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Date Released: January 8th, 2016
Date Seen: January 16th, 2016
Seen With: Daniel
Part 1 – Spoiler Free Quickie Review
I went into this movie not really expecting anything other than a great acting feat. This movie delivered on that front. But it also delivered a surprisingly interesting story that kept me hooked, had my heart pounding at times, and that I thoroughly enjoyed. I liked this movie much more than anticipated, and for a variety of reasons.
We’ll get this out of the way – the acting in the movie is fantastic. Yes, we know Leonardo DiCaprio can act. A lot of this movie is him in more compromised positions and taking a lot of a beating. There’s a lot of teeth gritting and whining and revenge seeking, and he’s wounded for a lot of the movie. Sometimes I have a hard time separating Leonardo DiCaprio the actor from the character he’s playing and this movie I didn’t have that problem. Is it my favorite Leonardo DiCaprio acting piece? No. But he still does a damn good job. Tom Hardy plays a role that reminded me a lot of his role as Alfie Solomons in the Netflix show Peaky Blinders. I thought he did a good job but it wasn’t anything shocking. Donhnall Gleeson surprised me as Captain Andrew Henry, probably just because I have his recent Star Wars: The Force Awakens role in my mind. But again, unsurprisingly he did a great job. The real treat was Will Poulter as Bridger, one of the younger fur trappers on the team with the aforementioned characters. You might recognize him from the comedy “We Are the Millers”? Well, seeing him pop up in the movie I was worried but he was the stand out performance in this movie. He did a phenomenal job. I can’t wait to see him in more serious acting roles after this.
The other great thing about this movie is the colors. It’s mostly filmed in blue and grey tones, so whenever there is red for fire or blood it really stands out and makes an even more significant impact. There are a lot of panning landscape shots that are gorgeous to look at, even when the shots are filled with the remains of a battle. For a good portion of the movie, Iñárritu uses a film technique similar to what he did in Birdman, with the camera following one person closely and then moving to another person to focus on a different area. This was great in battle scenes, and actually made them feel more realistic than the usual cut to pieces fight scenes. However, it didn’t work well during the close camp scenes and was annoying and out of place at times.
The plot also was great. I didn’t know much about the movie going into it (the trailers didn’t tell you a ton), but it surprised me. There was so much going on, and the different story lines you see through the course of the movie were all important and connected. I will say, I had heard about the bear fight before I went into the movie. I heard it was intense and it certainly was. My heart was pounding during it and it was a bit rough to watch. Even though it’s a CGI bear (duh) it felt very real.
Overall I enjoyed this movie much more than expected, and would recommend it.
Part 2 – In Depth Spoiler Ridden Review
The one thing I couldn’t really get behind was the Captain’s allegiance towards Glass. Once it’s revealed that Fitzgerald left Glass for dead and killed Hawk, AND stole all the money, it makes sense that he’s angry. But even before that Glass seems very very adamant about helping Glass stay alive and carrying him along with them while trying to make it back to the fort. Could be because of things that had happened in the past with the fur trapping group, not sure, but it just seemed like he was always 100% on the side of Glass, even when it might not have benefited the company (like carrying his near-dying body for miles over mountains). Yes, there wouldn’t have been some of a plot without it, but I would have liked some explanation there.
Overall – 8/10
A grotesquely beautiful movie, with impressive acting, mildly annoying camera techniques, but an overall great movie.