The Revenant: Review / by Kenneth Buff

The Revenant tells the story of real life American pioneer, Hugh Glass, (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is attacked by a bear and then subsequently left for dead, but only after being forced to watch his son (who is of half Native American blood) be murdered while he lies on a stretcher helpless. Glass spends the rest of the film in varying states of survival, trying to get back to the man who murdered his son and left him for dead.

The Revenant is pretty much as entertaining, as you would think it would be. It’s a man movie with heart.  You could call it The Grey meets colonialism.  But no matter what you call it, it’s definitely a film deserving of the Oscar nominations it’s received. It is by far one of the most beautiful and well-acted films I’ve seen in the year 2015. The only other film coming close to the beauty of this film being Mad Max: Fury Road, which coincidently also stared Tom Hardy. Speaking of Hardy, wow, does that guy steal the show here. All the talk has been on DiCaprio and whether or not he’ll win an Oscar for his role in this film (which I think he will), but Hardy is really the more interesting character. A down on his luck, scummy, racist, fur trapper who happens to be the man who murders DiCaprio’s son, and leaves him for dead. Hardy’s character is the most layered in the film, and he seems to get a real kick out of playing the bad guy. His scenes are the funnest ones to watch in the entire film.

Now, that being said, DiCaprio is also quite good here, he doesn’t have as many lines as Hardy does, (he spends most of his time trying to not die) but the things he does in this movie are pretty brutal (all the whether conditions in this film are real, so when you see DiCaprio butt naked in the snowy mountains of Colorado, he’s really doing that…he’s also really eating raw bison liver and speaking a Native American language.)

But for most of the audience interested in this film I think it comes down to whether the action is, well, actiony enough to justify the ticker purchase, and I think it is. Keep in mind that this is a survival revenge movie, so there’s a big chunk of this film where DiCaprio is hunting, healing, or avoiding hostile Native Americans and/or the French. But there is of course a final stand off between Hardy and DiCaprio, and it’s pretty damn good.