Review by Steve Duffy –
Inspired by true events, The Revenant is an immersive and visceral cinematic experience capturing one man’s epic adventure of survival and the extraordinary power of the human spirit. In an expedition of the uncharted American wilderness, legendary explorer Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is brutally attacked by a bear and left for dead by members of his own hunting team. In a quest to survive, Glass endures unimaginable grief as well as the betrayal of his confidant, John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Guided by sheer will and the love of his family, Glass must navigate a vicious winter in a relentless pursuit to live and find redemption.
The Revenant is director Alejandro Iñárritu’s follow-up film to his 2015 Oscar-winner film Birdman. The Revenant is based on the 2002 novel written by Michael Punke.
I am a little biased to the film, especially since I recently interviewed Will Poulter, who portrays the real-life Jim Bridger. Having a little insight to the making of the film made watching it a lot more enjoyable. I would not say this is DiCaprio’s best performance, but he sure is terrific in it. He really channels his character’s suffering.
The brutality of the film is at times hard to watch, especially the gruesome and realistic bear attack that Glass suffers. Also, some of the battle scenes are brutal and bloody. The grand sweeping wintry scenery is breathtaking and picturesque.
Glass’ harrowing journey of survival and revenge does at times feel every bit of its 156 minute running time, but let’s hope that DiCaprio will snare his first Oscar for this role.
Rating: R for strong frontier combat and violence including gory images, a sexual assault, language and brief nudity
Runtime: 2 hr. 36 min.