The Revenant (2016) – Film Review

Am I missing something?

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The Revenant if you have been able to miss the hype and the marketing is directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu (Birdman (2014)) and stars Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass an expert tracker who is supporting a group of fur trappers in the North American wilderness.  He is attacked by a bear and ultimately betrayed by another member of the group and left for dead by John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy).  Glass survives his injuries and sets out on a mission of revenge.

So what we have here is a classic revenge thriller with a thin plot and no character development.  Think back to the best work of Arnie, Stallone, Van Damme etc.  So why pray tell does this film have a run time similar to Interstellar (2014)?  Anyone?  I’m genuinely asking because The Revenant is doing gang busters at the awards ceremonies and I was bored for long periods.  No film of this type needs to last this long, 90 maybe 100 minutes job done.  The upbeat trailer is incredibly misleading because this film proceeds at a pace a snail would be embarrassed by with long mournful shots of the natural landscape.  Every discussion I have heard about why this film is great focuses on the use of natural light and how difficult it was to shoot ignoring in my mind the content of the movie itself.

This is not to say the film is without merit.  It is true that Mr DiCaprio gives a committed physical performance and at times it is truly beautiful and as such I can understand this film winning best cinematography and best actor but that’s it.  This film cannot be allowed to win best picture.  So short and sweet review – overlong and overindulgent which looks pretty but that’s not enough to keep the average viewer entertained.  My rating (2/5).

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