FlixChatter Review: The Revenant (2016)

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I have to admit that I’m not the biggest fan of Alejandro González Iñárritu. I think he’s a very good filmmaker but many of his films are way to depressing to me. Heck I have yet to see his awarding winning film Birdman, so I was hesitant to see his latest picture. But after seeing a stunning trailer a few months back, THE REVENANT became of the films I most looked forward to seeing this winter.

Set sometime in the 1820s, frontierman Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a fur tracker who’s part of a pelt gathering expedition that’s being lead by Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). As the film begins, Glass and his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) are deer hunting in the forest while his group are gearing up to get on their boat. Suddently out of nowhere, a pack of Native Americans starts attacking them. In an intense battle sequence, some of the crew were killed but Glass and the rest of the gang were able to get away. Later the group came to a rest at a camp site. While out scouting for any potential dangers, Glass was attacked by a bear. He’s badly wounded but was able to kill the creature. Moments later, Henry and some of the men found him. They stitched him up but realized he might not live for long.

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One of the crew members named John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy) suggested that they leave Glass to die on his own since he’s badly wounded. This of course upsets Hawk and Henry refuses to leave anyone behind. As the crew are heading back to their settlement across the mountain, it became clear that they can’t carry Glass all the way back. So Henry offer money to any volunteers who will stay with Glass until he dies and give him a proper burial. Glass’ son Hawk immediately volunteered and so did a young crew member named Jim Bridger (Will Poulter). The third person to volunteer was Fitzgerald, his only reasoning was that he wants the cash. What Henry doesn’t know is that Fitzgerald didn’t care for Glass and he never intended to wait until Glass dies. What follow is a story of vengeance and survival in the harsh winter landscape.


DiCaprio didn’t have a lot of dialogue in the film but his performance really shines as he uses all of his body and emotions to convey a man who’ll do anything to get vengeance at the people who left him for dead. It’s obvious he wants another shot at that golden statue, I’m sure he’ll get nominated again but I don’t know if he’ll win it. Hardy turned in another stellar performance as the antagonist. I wouldn’t call him a “bad” guy, his action and reasoning are quite understandable, although I don’t agree with some of the things he did in the film. The two young actors, Goodluck and Poulter, also shines as sort of the innocent characters in this harsh time.

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Iñárritu directed the film with some interesting camera work, particularly in the battle/action sequences. He also paid a lot of homage to Terrence Malick’s films. Some might call it pretentious but I don’t see it that way. The movie is quite brutal when it comes to violence, the bear attack scene was the most intense and realistic thing I’ve ever seen on screen. Then there’s the eventual showdown between Glass and Fitzgerald, it’s brutal and bloody but believable to me.

The film was shot by the always-great Emmanuel Lubezki and of course it looks spectacular. See it on the biggest screen you can find. Also, I have to mention the sound design, it’s one the best I’ve heard all year. The film was recorded in Dolby Atmos, but unfortunately the advance screening I saw was at a 7.1 surround sound. But I’m planning to see it again at a Atmos theater. So find a nice big screen theater with great surround if you can and be amazed by the sight and sound of this film.

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I don’t pay attention to any award shows but I won’t be surprised if this film get lots of attention from Oscar or Golden Globe voters. It’s one of best films of the year and as of now, it’s my favorite of 2015.

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So have you seen The Revenant? Well, what did you think?

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29 thoughts on “FlixChatter Review: The Revenant (2016)

  1. I’m exactly the same way when it comes to AGI. I find many of movies absolutely draining (and not in the good way). But I can’t wait to see this one. It won me over with the trailer and its a must-see for me.

    1. Hey there Keith! I remember you weren’t all that fond of Birdman, which was my fave film of last year for me. But this looks like an entirely different film and if only I’m not so squeamish, I’d be up for seeing it on the big screen.

  2. Excellent review, Ted. and like you, I was really looking forward to this film myself. I liked it a lot. But I wasn’t a fan of some of the ways in which it was shot. Particularly the visions, etc. I wanted to stay immersed in the world that was on screen and not go back and forth into the mind of glass and reality. but that’s just me. I still very much enjoyed it. I want to see it again actually, but probably alone this time as my friends with me dont care for a second viewing. 🙂

    1. Hello T, thanks for visiting my friend! I haven’t seen this yet but always interesting to see a different opinion for a largely-acclaimed film. I can see why you wouldn’t want to see it again, I’m not even sure I can *survive* seeing it once, ahah. But I’m gonna rent it for sure just out of sheer curiosity.

    2. Hey T, I actually loved the way it’s shot, very Malicky style. Without giving away any spoilers, I’m wondering if those versions were meant as something more spiritual for Leo’s character. I’m planning to see it again for sure and will get the Bluray when it hits home video.

  3. I watched this last night, Ted. Thomas Hardy — wow! I hope he gets nominated as Best Supporting Character– he really made the film. Leo was dedicated and fine–but because he couldn’t talk much, I really thought Remington was the better character. The scenery and the cinematography was stunning.

            1. I sure hope so Cindy!! I posted my recap & thoughts on GG from last nite, it’d have been more entertaining for me if Hardy had been nominated AND attend the event 😦

  4. Great review! This film is excellent and I agree, see it on the biggest screen possible. I’m not familiar with all of AGI’s films, but I loved Birdman, you should see it.

  5. You’ve not seen Birdman, Ted!? Since you liked The Revenant so much I implore you check out Birdman at the earliest opportunity – it’s sensational.

    As for The Revenant – which I haven’t seen yet – it’s great to hear the director is continuing his run of form. Leo’s time for the Oscar probably.

    1. I totally agree w/ Dan! You should give Birdman a shot, Ted. Even if it ends up not being your thing, it’s a sensational and unique piece of filmmaking. I don’t think it’s depressing, well at least compared to 21 Grams and Babel anyway.

  6. Now this is a really well-written review Ruth. Your review was really concise and got right to the heart of the film, without spoiling anything. I’m gonna see in this movies in the next few weeks I hope as it looks quite marvellous.

  7. Sorry I meant to say Ted, my computer is playing up a bit. And I’m so used to commenting on posts by Ruth. What I mean to say is wonderful review Ted, you made me want to see the movie.

      1. Script, that’s amazing. I hope it’s going well. If anyone deserves success, it’s you Ruth. Since you started following my blog, you’ve been a constant support and I appreciate that so much.

  8. On the whole, I thought it was a great film, but I’m too conflicted on some of it to go higher than a 4.5/5 right now. DiCaprio and Hardy were great though, as was Lubezki’s cinematography.

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