Saturday, July 30, 2016

The Revenant

***DISCLAIMER*** The following review is entirely my opinion. If you comment (which I encourage you to do) be respectful. If you don't agree with my opinion (or other commenters), that's fine. To each their own. These reviews are not meant to be statements of facts or endorsements, I am just sharing my opinions and my perspective when watching the film and is not meant to reflect how these films should be viewed. Finally, the reviews are given on a scale of 0-5. 0, of course, being unwatchable. 1, being terrible. 2, being not great. 3, being okay. 4, being great and 5, being epic! And if you enjoy these reviews feel free to share them and follow the blog or follow me on Twitter (@RevRonster) for links to my reviews and the occasional live-Tweet session of the movie I'm watching! Little known fact:  The bear that provided motion-capture for Red Dead Redemption was the bear in this movie.

The Revenant – 5 out of 5

The most heartbreaking thing about The Revenant is the fact it has the real potential to only be remembered as the film that finally—FINALLY—won Leo the Oscar that he should have won with literally any film he’s done in the last decade plus.  People will probably forgot the intense story, the incredible visuals and just how amazing the rest of the cast is alongside my man Leo (him and I are totes friends, I swear).  I think the only other thing they’ll remember is the bear, I guess.

Is the Academy happy?  Leo practically had to kill himself to finally get
that damn Oscar.

In the early 1820s in a region of America that will one day become known as the Dakotas and the states you only visit because you wanna see some big ass president heads, a man named Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his half-Pawnee son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) act as guides for a group of trappers lead by Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson).    After the group is attacked by some hostile natives looking for a member of their group that was kidnapped, the group suffers heavy loses and are forced to travel on foot back to their camp.  Soon after this begins, Glass is mortally wounded by a bear and becomes a burden.  One of the trappers; the antagonistic John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), believes that carrying Glass’ injured body will only slow them down and eventually tricks the group to abandon him—but not before he murders Hawk.  Now fueled with revenge the once believed to be dead Glass crawls and struggles across the wilderness in order to extract vengeance on the man that wronged him.

I'm tempted to make another Oscar joke.

The Revenant was a film I’ve been intending to see since I first heard about it because it starred Leo and I will pretty much seek anything out that this man is doing nowadays.  Add to the fact it was directed by the visionary dynamo director that gave us Birdman and I knew that I had to see the film.  I never got around to checking it out in the theaters because I’m poor and time became a factor when it finally was available to rent.  However, I’m kinda kicking myself for not jumping at the opportunity to watch it because I was absolutely blown away with the film.

I was blown away and also still harbor a massive distrust of bears.  I don't care
if they help stop forest fires they also take picnic baskets and attack
great actors!

Nearly everything about this is simply exquisite.  The story, based loosely on the events of a real trapped named Hugh Glass, was something I found myself easily investing in and the intensity that it supplied was absolutely addicting.  The performances—not just from Leo but from everyone like Hardy, Gleeson and Will Poulter and Forrest Goodluck—are absolutely incredible.  Sure, I honestly had a hard time understand what the hell Tom Hardy was saying most of the movie but his unique vocal choices help sell the film’s reality and really helped me get completely sucked into the events that were unfolding.

Is there a role that Hardy can't do?

Finally, one of the most astounding aspects of The Revenant was the visuals.  Director Alejandro G. Iñárritu (who brought us the equally visual spectacle that was Birdman) not only captured the beauty of nature in this film but he caught the emotion of Hugh Glass’ journey and all the hardships the group faced.  Iñárritu made the camera dance as it circles the action in 360 degrees and puts the viewer right next to the characters.  It’s truly a wonder to see the intense action scenes play out in this format.

"Ugh, and I thought they smelled bad on the outside!"

The only downside I had for the feature is that, occasionally, the story of Hugh Glass’ journey felt a tad meandering and like it was losing focus at times.  This feeling was very rare in the film and usually only came during the moments when the adrenaline rush of the intense scenes died down but there was definitely times where I found myself wondering if certain particular moments were really that necessary to the plot and story.

Believe me, any dragging moments were incredibly rare.

Beyond a very minor complain that did absolutely nothing to destroy my enjoyment and complete awe I had of the movie, The Revenant proves to be just an absolutely amazing film.  From a technical standpoint, the film is gorgeous and amazing.  From a writing standpoint, the film is visceral and intense and, finally, from an acting standpoint the film is unparalleled.  From start to finish and top to bottom, this movie is just unreal and completely stunning.

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