FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE REVIEW: Last night, I saw “The Revenant,” which stars Leonardo DiCaprio (Catch Me If You Can, Titanic ), Tom Hardy (Mad Max: Fury Road, Inception), Domhnall Gleeson (Ex Machina, Star Wars: Episode VII- The Force Awakens), Will Poulter (The Maze Runner, We’re the Millers), Forrest Goodluck (Gaming [Short], Citizen [TV series]), Paul Anderson (In the Heart of the Sea, Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows), and Kristoffer Joner (The Wave, Next Door). It is directed by Alejandro G. Inarritu (Birdman: Or [The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance], Babel), who also co-wrote the screenplay with Mark L. Smith (Vacancy, The Hole). Based in part on the novel by Michael Punke, this film finds frontiersman Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) left for dead by his comrades after he is mauled by a bear. Heck bent on revenge for the murder of his son by the same men, Glass awakens to track them down, struggling to survive from his injuries on the long journey.
Having succeeded in a fresh, bold way of filmmaking by making a story feel like it is shot in one take, Alejandro G. Inarritu was destined to make another winner of a feature. This time, instead of focusing on a fallen actor, he turns the camera to an fur trapper; way back in time before the motion picture was even considered a thing. Alejandro had big shoes to fill following his release of “Birdman,” and it was only a matter of time before his new film would be compared to it. I waited a long time in order to see this movie. Seeing it in theaters wasn’t an option because of money, so I was finally able to rent it after a handful of months. Although I heard great things about it (it won Academy Awards), I also heard bad, so I didn’t know what to expect walking in. Thankfully, these thoughts saved me, as I believe that this is a really good movie. So many great elements are poured into this story, mixing and blending together in a way that, just by looking at it, creates a masterpiece. I got to tell you, this film looks stunning. The cinematography and lighting of this journey is one to be in awe over, with many landscapes gushing with freezing temperatures that can make any viewer feel cold. Alejandro proves that he is a reliable director in this, and I had a blast in just seeing the visuals that danced across the screen. The lighting used in this is one to behold, as every shot looks as though it is captured in real lighting, especially night sequences. It is amazing. Besides the way the screen looks, the visual effects are just as good. That bear sequence is worth its praise, and we also get some scenes that last a long time, referring back to Alejandro’s usual style, even though this movie has cuts. What I found to be the most intriguing thing about this film is how real it is. Everything is well-grounded, besides the dream scenes, including the fights, the solitude of nature, and the struggle of surviving. I could see the pain in Glass’s face as he did everything he could to hunt down Fitzgerald (Hardy). The characters in this were interesting as well. Although I didn’t learn much about each prominent individual, besides their drive, they were all fleshed out well. The acting that came along with them was phenomenal. Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic in this release and Tom Hardy plays a great foe. Both of these actors never cease to amaze me, as well as Domhnall Gleeson, who has been appearing in a lot of great films lately. What made DiCaprio’s performance so good was the fact that he barely talks in this. Most of his feelings come from his facial expressions, and that is no easy feat to accomplish. When discussing the story, I would think that it is the aspect where all of this film’s issues lie. As an idea, this movie is great. A revenge story that displays the struggle of our hero is very cool to watch. For the majority of its runtime, I was captivated by what was going on. The action scenes, the conflict with the Indians, and the sheer struggle of coming back from the dead were all awesome, but the length of this feature rained heavy on these elements. I’m not going to lie, this film was slow. Although the beginning came in with a bang, the conclusion seemed to take an eternity to get to. At two hours and thirty-six minutes, it felt like three hours. Any other cons would include the dream sequences. Even though some of them were needed to develop Glass’s character, there were others that felt unnecessary. I thought that with each new dream we would see a single event from Glass’s life, the death of his wife, peel back more and more, but instead we were handed random moments that made no sense, like when Glass’s wife levitated above him. Some of you may think that they are needed, but I found no interest in them. Other than those two things, I really can’t think of other major issues. I would’ve included how it ended abruptly, but there isn’t much left to do when you actually see the film (I won’t spoil anything). Overall, this was a fantastically made movie with many great elements making it up. It is definitely a sad adventure and for those of you who want a happy ending, you won’t find it here. I would recommend this to anyone looking for a gritty experience, as it is a sight to see. FINAL SCORE: 90%= Juicy Popcorn
Here is the trailer: