|THE REVENANT (director/writer: Alejandro G. Inarritu; screenwriters: Mark Smith/based in part on the novel by Michael Punke; cinematographer: Emmanuel Lubezki; editor: Stephen Mirrione; music: Ryuichi Sakamoto, Alva Noto; cast: Leonardo DiCaprio (Hugh Glass), Tom Hardy (John Fitzgerald), Forrest Goodluck (Hawk), Duane Howard (Elk Dog), Arthur Redcloud (Hikuc), Kristoffer Joner (Murphy), Melaw Nakehk'o (Powaqa), Joshua Burge (Stubby Bill), Paul Anderson (Anderson), Domhnall Gleeson (Capt. Andrew Henry), Will Poulter (Jim Bridger), Grace Dove (wife of Hugh Glass), Lukas Haas (Jones); Runtime: 156; MPAA Rating: R; producers: Arnon Milchan, Steve Golin, Alejandro G. Inarritu, Mary Parent, Keith Redmon, James W. Skotchdopole; 20th Century Fox release; 2015)|
|"Its revenge tale, for all its
grimaces, is no greater than one found in
ordinary B westerns."
by Dennis Schwartz
talented Mexican film director Alejandro G. Inarritu
bases the survivalist film in part from Michael
Punke’s 2002 fact-based novel, which is set in
1823-24 in the territories that now make up the
Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska. It's
co-written by Inarritu and Mark Smith,
who were inspired by the true incident of a legendary
tracker and fur trapper's epic struggle to live in the
face of death and get revenge on the evil trapper who
done him wrong. But the filmmaker added his own fancy
embellishments, and they turned me off by making an
amazing true story subservient to a lesser bogus one.
faults are many and include it being overlong, too
bleak, too inflated with contrivances, going for too
gruesome a body count to be appealing and its revenge
tale, for all its grimaces, is no greater than one
found in ordinary B westerns. These faults might be
overcome by the viewer taken aback by its epic scope,
its gripping sense of harsh realism, breath-taking
wilderness imagery (courtesy of the great
cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki),
intensity, a great scene of a CGI created bear attack
on its hero and its ability to seamlessly blend
together a survivalist/revenge thriller with a
western. Despite an Oscar worthy performance by Leonardo
DiCaprio, his best so far, it lacked the
emotional pull to keep me tuned in throughout.
Instead its insanely bloody narrative left my
head ringing from the nightmarish dramatics and
its agenda of showing the greedy nature of the
employed by a fur trading company as a tracker,
a large grizzly bear attacks Hugh Glass (Leonardo
DiCaprio) and before killed
leaves the heavily clawed tracker for dead.
Unable to be moved and looking more dead than
alive, the leader of the trapper expedition,
Captain Henry (Domhnall
Gleeson), leaves behind three men to
care for him and give him a proper burial if
necessary--his half-breed son Hawk (Forrest
Goodluck), the dim-witted awkward
youngster Bridger (Will Poulter) and the
ruthless mercenary loudmouth Fitzgerald (Tom
Hardy). The men under the captain are all
trappers hired by the fur company, who were just
attacked with arrows by an angry group of
Arikara Indians. They want the furs to trade
with another party of French trappers to get
horses and rifles to track down the maiden
Indian kidnapped by the whites.
connives to leave Glass for dead, and manages to
return to the base fortress and be thanked by
the captain for looking after the dying Glass.
Glass survives, haunted by ghostly visions of
his absent Pawnee wife (Grace Dove), and follows
the river back to the fur company's fortress,
where he exacts his revenge on the venal foe.
It was shot on locations in Canada and Argentina.
REVIEWED ON 1/19/2016 GRADE: B
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ