The Revenant Review:
The Revenant is a drama based movie that takes the greatness of Alejandro Gonzalez (director of Birdman) and blends it with Leo Dicaprio's great acting. The great direction is one to bow your head to and serves as the best part of the movie. The overall story of the movie is quite cliche, resulting in a weaker story than most should want. Though Gonzalez's great eye for what's playing on screen, helps in his delivery of a very well made movie. It's serves as reminder that the Birdman wasn't a one and down Oscar movie for Gonzalez.
Hugh Glass (Leo DiCaprio) was attacked by a bear, had his son killed right in front of him, and buried alive to be left for dead. Though Glass will not accept the fact that most of his body has been torn apart and that death will not take him that easily. He tries track down the man who killed his boy and turned his life upside down. This leads to long survival and hunting story of a man who's last thing in life was his son.
The Revenant's story is the classic revenge flick with one of the best cinematography out there. Gonzalez made the movie with only natural light. No lens flares, no black light, etc. So most of the movie feels like we're watching a documentary. The documentary style feel is also shown in the camera work as well. It almost feels like your in a dream of how well the movie feels and looks.
The fight scenes are also very well choreographed and feel like they're not staged. The action isn't very flashy and over the top. It makes it feel like these people are actually trying to kill each other. This translates to the larger scale fight scenes as well, giving more realism with the long takes.
The story does feel a little familiar and is't very ground breaking. However, they do it in a way that makes you keep your attention throughout the movie. The whole movie doesn't seem like a revenge movie because Gonzalez focuses everyone's attention on the character of Glass. The trials of Glass takes up most of the run-time. Incidentally a connection is made with the character, and allows the audience to cheer for a man that really deserves his revenge. Everyone in the wilderness is trying to kill him (French, Hardy, and Indians) and the audience will be afraid for Glass. This ramps up the tension, as death is trailing Glass. Though the movie feels a little repetitive and tedious at theseparts, as it pays about twenty minutes too much time on the survival of Glass's character. He's down, then back up, and then down again. The cycle does get too much at parts and some of the parts could have been stripped from the movie.
However, DiCaprio brings your attention back on him with a great performance. Though Gonzalez doesn't do enough to let that character shine enough. There's very little dialogue in the movie, as stated before, everyone is out to kill the man. So he's almost always alone. DiCaprio deserves a Oscar, but this performance won't get him one. Though the competition is pretty weak this year, so he might finally get that illusive trophy.
Overall, The Revenant doesn't reinvent the wheel in terms of story telling, but gives the most realistic version of 1800's Montana. The movie is absolutely breathtaking to watch and fight scenes are one of the best ever. The subtle fight scenes mixed with the great tensions, allow The Revenant shine above a weaker story. The focus on Glass's character allows what could have been a cliche tale, transform into a tale great tale of retribution. The Revenant succeeds on the great direction of Gonzalez, while shining the performance of Leonardo DiCaprio. 8.8/10
Best Cinematography trailer ever.
Movies Leo should have won an Oscar for
Catch me if you can 2002
Winner: Sean Penn Mystic River
Blood Diamond 2006
Winner: Forest Whitaker
The Last King of Scotland
Django 2012 (if Christopher Waltz wasn't in the movie)
Winner: Christopher Waltz
Wolf of Wall Street 2013
Winner: Mathew McConaughey
Dallas Buyers Club
Do you think DiCaprio deserves an Oscar?
Read the book the movie is based on.