Released December 25, 2015 (Limited Release)
2 hr 36 mins
Director: Alejandro G. Iñárritu
Writer: Mark L. Smith, Alejandro G. Iñárritu (based on novel by by Michael Punke)
Review by Mister Goodfella's Reviews
Prepare to visit Alejandro González Iñárritu's art gallery once again this time viewing his most beautiful piece "The Revenant." Alejandro blew everyone away last year with the remarkable "Birdman: Or The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance" and he's returned to show us he still has something to say in this generation of filmmaking. "The Revenant" is another product of marketing at its finest, posing to casual movie goers as an action packed survival story when it’s anything but. Alejandro's latest film is one of the most beautiful and ingenious films I’ve seen this year, coming off as a vibrant masterful painting that only a true artist could create. "The Revenant" is a movie specifically for a "Film Buff", normal moviegoers are going to come out of this puzzled as this film pulls what Nicolas Winding Refn did years ago with his film "Drive".
This film has its moments of intense battle sequences and violence but spaces out those aspects and fills it with a beautiful artistic story of survival and learning to love the sheer beauty that is life. The plot of Iñárritu's latest work follows a frontiersman named Hugh Glass who sets of on a quest of revenge after being left for dead from a bear attack. This plot is an example of a simple beautiful revenge story but Alejandro does his job at elevating this plot to new heights. Quentin Tarantino's "Kill Bill" can be compared to films like this with simplistic stories that follows a character whose only goal is to take revenge, giving us that beautiful build up until our character gets what they have been searching for the entire film. "Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold" and Alejandro shows us this statement is all but true here.
"The Revenant" stars in my opinion one of the top actors of this generation Leonardo DiCaprio in one of his finest roles and also stars other fantastic actors such as Tom Hardy and Domhnall Gleeson. DiCaprio has starred in several phenomenal roles in the years past such as Teddy Daniels “Shutter Island", Cobb in "Inception", Billy" in "The Departed" and Jordan Belfort in "The Wolf of Wall Street'. This year is DiCaprio's year, the performance given by him in "The Revenant" is one that can only be given by an actor who's tapped that true potential they have. Judging not only by his performance onscreen but off-screen as well Leo doesn't hesitate to get method and go in depth with his characters. These are the reasons why if this ingenious actor doesn't win "The Oscar" soon, not to worry we all know he's bound to get a "Lifetime Achievement Award" somewhere down the line for sure.
Hugh Glass was an actual frontiersman that lived in the 1820's yet we can't help but think that Leo has lived like this for years the way we see his character portrayed onscreen. Tom Hardy also compliments Leo's performance well as he plays the vicious antagonist John Fitzgerald who's not afraid to do whatever it takes to stay alive. Hardy can truly play the villain and that comes of no surprise due to his role as the mercenary Bane in Chris Nolan's "The Dark Knight Rises". Hardy is ruthless and once again shows us he's the man for any job whether it’s the antagonist or the protagonist like his role in "Mad Max Fury Road". All performances feel natural and it feels as though all actors truly embody their characters and forget who they really are.
Aside from the performances the directing here is flawless ranging from remarkable landscape shots to Alejandro's favorite continuous shots. All scenes in this film were shot with natural lighting and it really brings out the film's true beauty. The battle sequences in this film set new standards for battle sequences in general, showing us that with hard work you’re left with near operatic action sequences that can capture anyone. I still can't put my finger on how some of the effects in the film during the battle sequences were handled because everything looked authentic to the tee. Stylish long shots of steady camera work is Alejandro's specialty here and there's not a minute where it gets you feeling that it’s repetitive.
Alejandro is in another great position this year to win the "Best Director" Oscar due to what a fascinating product "The Revenant" turned out to be even though it had a high bar set by "Birdman" last year. Everything about this film screams phenomenal and everyone should sit through it at least once. I absolutely adore this film but keep in mind the casual movie goer might not get exactly what they're expecting. Alejandro is the leading filmmaker figure for all Latino aspiring filmmaker proving that working your ass off really can pay off no matter the color of your skin. One of my biggest idols in the film industry, "The Revenant" is a film that delivers 110 percent.
Rating: 4 out of 4 Stars