Monday, September 26, 2016

Movie review: The Revenant

While on a fur trading expedition in the 1820's, trapper Hugh Glass is mauled by a bear and left for dead by his hunting team. Alone in the wilderness and fighting for his life, the desire for revenge drives Hugh to stay alive and seek justice for his murdered son.

Leonardo DiCaprio (Hugh), Tom Hardy (Fitzgerald), Domhnall Gleeson (Capt. Henry), Will Poulter (Bridger), Forrest Goodluck (Hawk), Paul Anderson (Anderson), Kristoffer Joner (Murphy), Joshua Burge (Stubby Bill).

The Revenant begins with some character introductions and setup before smoothly transitioning to the main plot with the bear attack on Hugh. While the summary implies revenge is the main story, it is really about survival. The things Hugh must go through to survive are intense and incredible to say the least and the film builds suspense and tension wonderfully. The story finally winds down with an appropriate, if somewhat meek, ending.

Acting was very well done with DiCaprio putting forth an incredible performance under a variety of intense situations. Hardy also delivered very well with good emotion and intensity, and apparent chemistry with DiCaprio. Gleeson and Poulter were enjoyable in supporting roles, as was the remainder of the cast.

Camera work, sets, and backgrounds were simply incredible. Scenery was beautiful, intense, used well, and a big part of the film. CGI and effects were very nicely done and added depth to the film. Action scenes were often brutal and very dramatic. Dialogue was good though use of subtitles was needed at first to overcome some accents. Sound and soundtrack were very nice throughout the film.

As a story The Revenant is an attention grabber, and was translated to film well. The intensity and tension are built wonderfully and the story moves along well with only the mild ending being slightly disappointing. That said, the over 150 minute run time became a bit tedious toward the end. Action adventure fans should enjoy this one.

Be warned, this film is ridiculously intense. The bear attack alone will disturb many viewers, and other events will impact the rest. Extreme graphic violence, disturbing gore, nudity, sexuality, and foul language mean this one should be saved for older, mature teens and above.

Released: 2015
Reviewed: 9.12.16
Star rating: 4 out of 5
Genre: Action & Adventure, Western Action, Action Thrillers, Adventure

copyright ©2016 Dave Riedel

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