The Revenant

(2015)

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Title:
The Revenant
Release Date:
25th December 2015
Runtime:
156 min
MPAA Rating:
R
Directors:
Alejandro G. Inarritu
Writers:
Alejandro G. Inarritu, Mark L. Smith
Languages:
English, Pawnee, French
Stream Quality:
1080p / 720p / 480p

Storyline

Inspired by true events, 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 REVENANT is directed and co-written by renowned filmmaker, Academy Award (R) winner Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman, Babel). (C) Fox

Ratings

Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience 85%
IMDb Rating 8.1

Casts

Domhnall Gleeson as Captain Andrew Henry
Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass
Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald
Will Poulter as Bridger

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by SmashingUKProductions 17th January, 2016

A Powerfully Bleak & Masterful Film

Take the direction of Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, combine it with the stunning cinematography of Emmanuel Lubezki and toss in Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy for their acting charms and what do you get? An extraordinary and masterful film. Fresh off of 'Birdman,' Inarritu moved straight on to 'The Revenant,' a western-epic inspired by the true-life experiences of frontiersman Hugh Glass in the winter-struck landscape of 1820s America. The film gained some notoriety in mid-2015 for its production problems and has thus been regarded one of the most challenging film shoots in the history of cinema. Rightfully so. The film opens with the soothing sound of running water, thrusting the audience into an almost meditative state, and then it strikes, an action-packed sequence ensues with a near single sweeping take. Now this is a spoiler-free review, so I'll leave the pleasure of viewing that scene to you. This film heavily evokes reactions from the audience and does so well, whether it's staring at the screen in awe or gasping at the visceral violence, if you face this film with the right attitude and expectations, it will be a thrill ride like no other. Lubezki has proved that he is one of the most fantastic cinematographers of modern cinema, and the extensive use of natural lighting over artificial supports that statement even further, the film is beyond stunning. Supporting this is the score from the relatively unknown composers, believe me, when the sudden orchestral boom strikes your eardrums, it's mesmerising. The makeup, the direction, the editing, the visual aesthetics, and of course the performances from a hopefully soon-to-be Oscar winning DiCaprio, 'The Revenant' is a visual treat for those who appreciate cinema and for those who wish to just get absorbed by the immense landscapes and poetic justice Inarritu has given it. This is, for me, a modern masterpiece.

Reviewed by mptaylor-50564 16th January, 2016

Great photography, not so great film

You are almost immediately plunged into the action, in a similar way to the opening of 'Saving Private Ryan', with a Native American attack on a group of fur trappers. DiCaprio even does that momentarily deaf thing that Tom Hanks does. Lots of bows and arrows and gore and excellent photography that is really immersive. Great opening scene. There there's the scene where DiCaprio is mauled by a grizzly bear. Again, really believable, exciting and up front and personal - you can almost smell the bear's stinking breath. Brilliant. And then there's ... well ... not much really. Photography and scenery are by and large excellent but you do get the feeling that better use could have been made of them. Inarritu often seems to chop scenes around for no particular reason, although you do get the occasional sense of the vast wilderness that comes over well on the big screen. Dialogue is scarce. Most of it goes to Tom Hardy who tries to put on a Texan accent but succeeds in sounding as if he has a sock in his mouth (does he specialise in being inaudible? remember him as the mumbling Bane in 'The Dark Knight Rises'?). Then there's the storyline. You know the ending, right? (Just look up the definition of 'revenant'.) Leo is up against it and he suffers a great deal. But you know he is going to survive. So when, to top everything, he falls off a cliff on his horse you realise he's actually become Mr Indestructible. And two and a half hours of crawling, grimacing and wincing does not a very entertaining film make. There are also several non-credible plot twists. Like when Tom Hardy (a.k.a. The Mumbler) somehow cracks an impressive-looking safe and makes off with the garrison money and just two guys go after him, including the garrison commander. This nicely sets up the final confrontation between Mr Indestructible and The Mumbler .... but really? We also develop little or no emotional connection with the main character. The silent dream scenes are a cliched way of trying to do this and they don't work in my opinion - they're just puzzling and boring. Nor do we see much of the relationship between Leo and his son to set up the emotional links between them - just Leo being harsh and dishing out tough love a couple of times. The pacing is also poor. Once you've passed the opening scene and the grizzly scene, feel free to go and refresh your popcorn - you won't miss much. Overall, the film is self-consciously bleak and overdetermined and is unevenly paced. A better director might possibly have made this a good film but Inarritu is clearly not David Lean. If DiCaprio gets an Oscar for this it will be because the Academy think they owe him one and possibly because of the hype. This is a film that will be forgotten. If you want to see a good silent movie with snow, ice, struggle for survival and even the odd grizzly bear thrown in, watch Chaplin's 'The Gold Rush' - it's far more entertaining.

Reviewed by Martha Adam 15th January, 2016

A classic case of style over substance

What an absolute waste of 2.5 hours. It didn't look like it was going to be my type of film, but the trailer was very convincing, not to mention the plethora of award nominations it has received, so I decided to give it a go. Mistake. It started with a collection of superb actors, delivering solid performances. Despite what I've read, I thought Tom Hardy's accent was spot on - that is what that accent sounds like! Domhnall Gleeson is in everything these days, for good reason, and Will Poulter was certainly endearing. Leonardo DiCaprio was excellent, dragging oneself through the snow post-bear mauling should be pretty torturous, and as we know from Wolf of Wall Street's infamous 'Ludes' scene, DiCaprio is a pro at crawling and grunting. A cast such as this should have delivered an outstanding movie, so I can only assume something went catastrophically wrong with the script. Because my God was it BORING. There was absolutely zero character development. If you're going to produce something that is on the long side, at least give me something to work with here? The son was killed so early (and following so few lines) I genuinely didn't care, which didn't help to lay a foundation for why I should care about Glass's prolonged revenge mission. As well as the characters being entirely 2D, they also quickly became parodies of themselves. "The Revenant Presents: Domhnall Gleeson as the Principled Yet Naive Captain (who must die as punishment for his ineptitude); Tom Hardy as the Southern Villain (with no redeeming features, who likewise must die to maintain the idea of a Just World); Will Poulter as the Impressionable Young Soldier-type and Leonardo DiCaprio as the Tortured Hero. Don't forget the Arrogant French Braggarts, and the Wise Yet Ruthless Indigenous People. Oh and Tom Hardy's Random Cockney Friend." While I still think Hardy's accent was well executed, the choice to use an accent which is often a source of ridicule (I'm not endorsing that view) only served to undermine the tension rather than build it, making him seem like a fool rather than a dangerous adversary. Admittedly, he did a kill a number of people so maybe playing The Fool was his way of lulling everyone into a false sense of security. DiCaprio was convincing in his role of the Aggrieved Father avenging the death of his son, but his journey of adversity quickly became absurd rather than laudable. The bear attack was BRUTAL, and as his company quickly concluded, it seems unlikely he would have survived his injuries, particularly when being carted around in the depth of winter. But no, not only does he survive, he also survives Hardy's attempt to smother him, and being dragged into a partial burial, as well as witnessing the murder of his son (which would be enough to render any of us catatonic). OK, this might be plausible, maybe. Then he wanders around for a bit, spurred on by the prospect of vengeance, before being nearly drowned in a river. Again, the trip down the rapids would have been enough to drown the average man, let alone someone who has just suffered a savage bear attack followed by an attempted smothering. But no, he comes to a gentle stop at the river bank and has a nap - mysteriously without succumbing to hypothermia. Cue more wandering, some assistance from a kindly fellow wanderer, and yet more wandering. As if three potential deaths weren't enough (four if you account for the bear effectively attacking him twice), he's then under attack by the very people who's daughter he's just rescued, and not only does he not get shot (despite these people having been shown to be frighteningly accurate), his horse RIDES HIM OFF A CLIFF and surprise, surprise - HE LIVES! In fact, he doesn't just survive it, he guts the dead horse and SLEEPS INSIDE IT. *Beats chest asserting manliness* By the end I was desperate for one of them to just kill the other so I could go home. Tom Hardy finally met his maker - not before uttering the obligatory moral message that revenge doesn't make us feel better. The Revenant is a classic case of style over substance. Fantastic actors, slipping effortlessly into a range of cliched characters, stunning cinematography, and zero emotion. I'm a crier, I will cry at the majority of films and TV shows (and occasionally books), so the fact that I not only didn't cry, but felt absolutely nothing towards any of the characters, says it all. It's clearly a polarising piece of work, I've seen many other reviews here that echo my sentiments, yet my boyfriend loved it, and the average rating is currently 8.3! Unfortunately, Award Land appears to be siding with my other half. This year's Oscar Best Picture category is a crowded race with several worthy contenders - but the Revenant is not one, and I really hope it doesn't win. Does DiCaprio deserve the nomination? He was one of the better things in this film, and playing such a role must have pushed him to his physical limits, so maybe he does. Frankly, he's massively overdue one so for God's sake just give the man an Oscar and let's forget this absurd study in masculine pride ever existed.

Reviewed by Brandon Harpold 9th January, 2016

One of the Best Movies I'll never watch twice

The Revenant falls into the same category as Aronofsky's "Requiem for a Dream" and Spielberg's "Schindler's List" for me, in the essence of being a terrific movie but not something I think I can sit through a second time. In all these movies there are brutal sequences that cause emotional stress and disgust just watching because it is so REAL and GRIPPING. To think that events in these movies actually happened or that they could very well happen is too much for me to think about. Not to say that I did not enjoy this film thoroughly. The Revenant is a technical masterpiece that left me wondering "How the hell did they do that?" after many scenes and sequences. With beautiful cinematography and adroit camera movement this film is a visual magnum opus. It is apparent that the great minds that put forth this film are none other than the same ones that brought us Birdman: Lubezki and Inarritu. There are many long shots without cuts that are sprinkled throughout the film that add a sense of sophistication to it with the added bonus of predominantly location based shooting and natural lighting for the film , that can even make a novice film watcher raise an eyebrow at its complexity. The camera work is not the only noteworthy aspect of the film; The actors did a superb job executing their rolls. Many are raving about DiCaprio's performance but I was more of a fan of Hardy's brutal and gritty character Fitzgerald. Granted, half the words that came out of his mouth were unintelligible but he left no doubt in my mind that he was fully devoted to his role and bringing Fitzgerald alive instead of just Hardy playing a character named Fitzgerald. He was simply amazing. With all this said, there are still flaws in the film. At some points it was dragging on and moving too slow. It gave the impression that the film itself was cocky and wanted to show off all of its beautiful scenery and camera work too much. Then there was the "he shouldn't be alive" situations. Hugh Glass was a real guy that really did survive a bear mauling but in the film they make this guy practically immortal. There were too many instances where I was thinking "he should be dead three times over right now, for me to enjoy the film as much I should have. All in all a great film that I only recommend to seasoned and mature film viewers.

Reviewed by gogoschka-1 23rd December, 2015

Visual poetry - and a celebration of human resilience as well as an ode to the savage beauty of nature

A lot has been said and written about this film, mostly about its troubled production - forget all that: it has no meaning whatsoever for the experience this film provides. A word of advice though: if you go in expecting a testosterone-fueled revenge thriller in the vein of 'Apocalypto', you'll likely end up disappointed. It's simply not that kind of film - but that doesn't mean you won't enjoy it if you watch it with the right expectations. 'The Revenant' opens with images from a dream; we see snippets of memories showing a peaceful life - and soon the loss of that peace, and the loss of life. The images change and we hear the soothing sound of gurgling water as we follow the camera via a long tracking shot over a flooded forest; it's an image that seems to imply peace, evoking nature's beauty with an almost meditative quality - before the barrel of a rifle appears in the frame. Those first three minutes I just described (which are the only spoilers you will get in this review) set the tone for the film perfectly. It's a film that tells a story of harrowing circumstances through images that are breathtakingly beautiful; a film about survival and death and shocking acts of sudden violence - and yet a film that, despite all its visceral intensity, also has a quiet, immersive quality to it that feels almost hypnotic. Many critics and reviewers have pointed out the stark contrast between the film's poetic beauty and the ugliness of its violence - implying the director wanted to use this contrast to make a certain point regarding mankind's interference with nature. While that would seem pretty obvious (and it probably is at least partly true), I left the film feeling Inarritu had shown a vaster, far too complete image of the clash between man and nature to justify such a simplistic interpretation of the events portrayed on screen. Whether intentionally or not, Inarritu shows the star of his film with a complexity and honesty that we normally don't get to see in these kinds of stories. And I'm not talking about Leonardo DiCaprio here (who gives a no-holds-barred, crazy good performance and I'd love to see him win an Oscar for this film) - the star of this film is not a person: it IS nature, plain and simple. The revenge plot - which felt almost like an afterthought or a ploy to give the film a certain structure and a proper ending - is not really the film's main theme or strongest aspect, and it certainly isn't the reason that made this film so compelling to watch for me. Such stories have been told often enough - and often better - than in 'The Revenant'. No, what really made this film stand out for me is that I have NEVER seen a Hollywood film (any film, really - apart from documentaries) that showed nature in such an unflinchingly honest and mesmerizing way as was the case here. And the way I perceive it, Inarritu sees his human protagonists as being very much a part of nature as a whole - regardless of their destructive behaviour. It's that refreshingly wholistic approach (which some viewers might perceive as nihilism on the director's part) that I found to be the film's biggest accomplishment: it depicts the people in this story as just another species trying to survive in that perilous frontier-world. The emphasis is not really on the moral aspects of the brutal injustice that the main character suffers or how the Native Americans are cruelly exploited; we witness all that - but Inarritu keeps a certain emotional distance, as if he were shooting a documentary about predatory wildlife. And just like the bear's attack, most of the violence in this film comes as a reaction of defense. Be it self-defense, defending one's offspring or defending territory and valuable resources. Even the character that comes closest to an actual villain is driven by fear - not hate, and his most obvious character defects were caused by a very traumatizing experience. As in nature, there is a simple (if often brutal) logic to why most characters, men or beasts, act the way they do in 'The Revenant' (OK, maybe not the French - but I didn't say the film was perfect, did I). And the bear attack was the most realistic depiction of an animal attack I have ever seen on film. All in all, this film felt less like a story of revenge and more like an ode to the visceral beauty of nature and the relentless, savage force that is life; it provides an immensely absorbing - and touching - experience to those who have an affinity for the wilderness, but it's also a visual masterpiece and a great piece of old-school filmmaking for lovers of Cinema. It's not perfect (especially during the last third of the film where I felt the pacing was a bit off), but it's a film the likes of which we will only rarely get to see - if at all - in the future. 'The Revenant' is visual poetry of the most primal kind, and it should be seen on the biggest screen possible. 9 stars out of 10 from me. Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/ Lesser-Known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/ Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/