The Revenant (2015)
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Will Poulter, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter
Directed by: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Written by: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Rating: R Running Time: 2 hr. 36 min
The Revenant is a biographical western set in 1823 Montana and South Dakota, and inspired by the experiences of frontiersman, Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio). A tale of revenge and man versus nature, as Glass struggles to survive after a brutal bear attack.
Cinematographer, Emmanuel Lubezki (Gravity, Birdman) is surely going to receive a lot of love during the next award season for his astonishing work on this film. Shot with natural light only, I was frequently taken aback by how tremendous everything looked. From the opening frame of water streaming through a forest, to the many gorgeous shots of the snow-covered American wilderness – The Revenant is arguably the best looking film of 2015.
In addition to that, the film is nicely scored by Bryce Dessner, Carsten Nicolai, and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Who add just the right tone to a film about loss and survival amidst incredible odds and the harsh environment. Brooding when our hero is seemingly done, and pounding during the film’s incredibly choreographed action sequences.
Great photography, action and music however, are not the only components of a film, and The Revenant for me was lacking in a couple of key areas. The first was the story. A simple enough revenge plot, but with the development of Hugh Glass mostly delivered in dreamy flashbacks, that bond to love ones that spurs Glass’ need to seek retribution, never really solidified for me. Which was strange when you consider the second issue I had with this film. Its running time. I saw no reason whatsoever for this film to be over 2 hours long, let alone over 2 and a half. At this length, The Revenant starts to get awfully repetitive. Glass gets hurt, struggles to survive, Glass gets hurt again, struggles to survive. Inject gorgeous visuals and flashbacks that keep supplying the viewer with the same information over and over again, and repeat.
Job one for any movie is to tell a story. If I wanted to stare at snowy vistas for a few hours, I would have hopped in the car and headed up to the mountains with a picnic.
This movie is 156 minutes long, and is rated R for brutal violence, brief nudity and sexual content.
This film is a MUST SEE in a theater. It’s arguably the best looking film released in 2015.
The bear attack. Glass’ encounter with the Grizzly is amazingly well realized.