The Revenant review

Steadily growing fan favourite director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu makes his latest cinematic outing with The Revenant, a gritty, dirty tale of survival, resolve and revenge as a frontiersmen vows to avenge his sons death after an encounter with members of his hunting team. The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domnhall Gleeson.

Upon closer inspection, The Revenant is probably many things but one of the most accurate ways to describe it is – visceral, Inarritus style of direction works perfectly for this type of story, with the camera itself being so close to the action and characters, bringing you into the story and engrossing you as events unfold. Inarritus style of filming is become a staple and it makes for some really great scenes, with some beautiful landscape shots and great panning, tracking shots that work great in action sequences, giving the impression of real time events unfolding and mimicking the chaos and panic that you can imagine would take place during a raid. Immersion, that’s something that film does an exceptional job of doing and it’s absolutely necessary for this story as it’s key that you are interested in the main characters – namely DiCapro as the ever determined Hugh Glass. A story like this needs you to follow its characters and be engaged for it to work and have an emotional impact and I have to say, it works, in part because of the films great performances, notably from DiCaprio who puts it in some great, gruelling work and definitely underwent some punishment.

And I can only speak for myself but I was so engaged that I was practically cheering for DiCaprio/Glass to get his revenge and finally do what he was planning to do. Though Admittedly, there are some lulls in the action and this is far from an endless thrill ride of action and drama, though it has its fair share and notably there is a moment late in the story when not much at all happens but this thankfully doesn’t last for too long.

There isn’t much Hugh Glass doesn’t go through in the story to be frank and it’s certainly an Oscar worthy performance in my book, meanwhile the supporting cast does a great job in regards to the roles that they play and Domnhall Gleeson in particular was great as the likeable, moral Captain Andrew Harry, while Tom Hardy makes for the effortlessly brutal and amoral John Fitzgerald, enveloping the role much like DiCaprio did, with some great casting overall.

Things get gritty and bloody but never quite to the point of being gratuitous which is an excellent feature of the story, the action is often brutal, punches, cuts look like they hurt and this is important as you do sort of feel for certain characters when they’re being in bad situations and with some great filming, you see the action as it unfolds in every painful injury, stab and so son and it makes for some tense, thrilling set pieces. Namely one involving a massive Grizzly Bear in one of the most brutal, if not the most brutal bear attacks I’ve seen in a film.

The Revenant is a great cinematic experience and a fantastic story, with some lulls in the action points and moments that may seem a bit superfluous to the plot, on the whole it’s a very well made and engaging drama with a great motivational main character in Hugh Glass, who you really get sympathise with and get behind because of his ordeal and because of DiCaprios great performance, alongside some great supporting performances.

8/10

. Has some fantastic performances, DiCaprio is great as ever

. Engaging characters, you’ll either love or hate them but you will care about them

. Brilliant cinematography, draws you into the story, makes for some thrilling set pieces

. Engrossing, simple premise with a good story

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