Yo! What’s up everyone. Happy Saturday. So, I finally saw it. I’ve been waiting for The Revenant for a long time now and I finally caught it. The only disappointing thing about it is that I still don’t know what my favorite movie of the last year has been. I was hoping this would be the definitive Number One but it’s just as good as any other huge movies this year like Mad Max: Fury Road, The Hateful Eight, Sicario, etc. So I guess I’ll just have to wait and see what the results of the Golden Globes are tomorrow night and then eagerly anticipate the Academy Awards next month.
What’s so crazy about The Revenant, for me, is that it’s based on a true story. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a legendary hunter/ trapper/ tracker/ fur tradesman at the height of American Westward Expansion (I think the mid-1800s to try and be exact). Glass is helping to lead an expedition of fur traders across the mid-west, headed towards the Rocky Mountains, when tragedy strikes and Glass is viciously (and I mean viciously) mauled by a bear. In an effort to repay the wise leadership Glass has become known for, the Captain of the expedition (Domhnall Gleeson) orders that Glass be taken care of to the party’s full capabilities until they reach their fort beyond the Rockies. While their numbers are stretched thin, the plan may have actually worked if there wasn’t the lone dissenter among the group in the form of John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy). Fitzgerald has been second-guessing Glass for the entire expedition and now, after the attack, sees his opening to convince the other men to mercy kill Glass and get back to the fort as quick as possible. When the party encounters obstacle after obstacle and Captain Henry finds it more and more difficult to schlep Glass along with them, he picks Glass’ son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), and younger man by the name of Bridger (Will Poulter) to stay behind with Glass so the rest of the party can survive long enough to make it to the fort, get more men, and come rescue them. The two agree wholeheartedly but the plan is shifted once more when Fitzgerald, after sensing an opportunity to make more money, agrees to stay behind as well.
What follows is one of the most harrowing, desperate, incredible journeys of survival and revenge I’ve ever seen. It’s not just your run of the mill revenge story but rather, a story of the human spirit to endure everything it possibly can while moving unrelentingly towards an end-goal that, when it finally comes down to it, might be better left in the hands of other forces than your own.
This movie was truly incredible. I, like most people, fully jumped onto the Alejandro Inarritu boat after last year’s Best Picture winning Birdman or (The Unexpected Virture of Ignorance). I’ve seen some of his other films like 21 Grams and Babel but I’d never seen anything like Birdman before and was, frankly, blown away. It was pure, wonderful, spectacular, movie magic. So, when I heard there were tons and tons of movie magic poured into The Revenant, I knew I couldn’t miss it at all. The bear scene is 100% as insane as you’ve been hearing it is. The natural light and cinematography is 100 million percent as beautiful as you may have thought it would be and the slow, creeping pace of the film is completely in line with the entire era of Westward Expansion. It was survival and desperation at every turn. That shit’s not fun, you know? It’s not glamorous and it’s certainly not fast paced. It’s slow, and it builds and builds and builds until something happens that doesn’t resolve the building, but breaks down what has been built in favor of a clean slate.
Everyone’s saying this is gonna be Leo’s year for that Oscar and, as usual, after seeing this movie, you’ll be really confused if he doesn’t get it. He breathes so much life into this often breathless, cold character that his performance is really like a masterclass. I very much hope you make the jump this weekend and check this movie out because it’s truly spectacular and if you wait to see it on DVD or something on your own tv, you’ll be missing a hugely awesome film experience. So go check out The Revenant this weekend and come back tomorrow for my thoughts on Reservoir Dogs. Thanks!