The Revenant, or how I like to call it: Leo’s journey to the Oscars. Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu pulls off another Oscar contender for 2016 following last year’s win, Birdman, with a gritty, violent, and LONG tale of one man’s will and strength to pull off one of the oldest revenge stories ever told. From a movie making standpoint, this movie pulled out a visual masterpiece making it more realistic looking and tugging at our heartstrings to root for the lead to live and succeed. However, film makers said to themselves that the only way to do that is by making it 2 hrs and 30+ mins. If not, these serious and hardcore tales are not authentic. So from a moviegoers standpoint, they could have cut out almost 45 mins of this film and still received those nominations.
This movie was really entertaining and engaging but I can’t get over the length of the running time. This story, while based on true events, could have been told in a shorter time in my opinion. Leo plays Hugh Glass, a Frontiersman with excellent survival skills, while leading his hunting team through the woods is attacked by a grizzly bear. I’ll talk more on that later in this post. While extremely injured the team leaves to get to safety and bring back help leaving him with John Fitzgerald, played by Tom Hardy. John then leaves Hugh for dead all alone after committing a brutal act. Hugh, however, has other plans than dying. He gets up, uses those handy skills to track him down and act out his revenge. Exciting right? Straight to the point, good ol’ fashion revenge story. They don’t waste time, as soon as the movie starts you are right in the grit of it taking it all in. After all of that is done, its getting to him that take almost 2 hours to do.
Now don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t bored with what I saw. Cleary, you can’t just walk down a path and expect to accomplish your goal. So the movie got extended to show how hard and real it is to survive out there on your own. I just think they gave us too many examples of his skills that were demonstrated so early on in the film. You also add on the fact that his supporting cast (Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, and Forest Goodluck to name a few, had a lot of talk time. To mention a few are A subplot that had them in a war with a Native American tribe, the Arikara, and a missing girl also made the film a little lengthy and off topic. Not much was really focused on the supporting characters as far as who they are and their stake in the main story.
Now, I won’t get into too much detail over what happened with Leo and the bear. I haven’t seen a bear/human fight as violent and heart wrenching to watch since The Edge with Anthony Hopkins. The Edge had cut scenes during that attack. This movie didn’t have too many cut scenes. They made you watch everything. EVERYTHING! Every claw mark, scratch, pounce, and bite all in front of your very eyes. A scene like that and to also see Leo’s performance in this is worth the watch in my opinion. This is not a post to tell you not to see this movie or it’s not worth it. Just be prepared for a long movie and for a good part of the film in the middle of it not much word is spoken. On a side note, this is something I thought about while watching it. Would I prefer a man, Hugh, to be by himself in the woods not talking because he has no one to talk to. Or is is more entertaining and realistic to watch a movie where its one man on screen talking to himself for the sake of us watching on screen?
Leo does give a great performance by the way. This has to be it. If The Wolf of Wall Street didn’t do it, if Django Unchained couldn’t pull it off, I really don’t know what the academy is looking for. Judging from the Oscar nominations for Best actor in a leading role, he definitely has some competition. I just really hope this is the year they give him the statue he should of had all this time since What’s eating Gilbert Grape?
+1 Engaging with edge of your seat sequences
+1/2 on writing. Movie could have been shorter. A lot of silence through the movie.
+1 Great acting done by Tom Hardy and Leo DiCaprio
+0 I don’t see a need to watch this movie again for a second time. One hell of a movie the first time around.
Total points 3 1/2 out of 5