When Hank said I should do a review of The Revenant, I was a bit puzzled. I already did a review of The Revenant a couple of years ago. It was awesome! It was like a true blue sequel or remake to Dead Heat. A soldier comes back to life as an undead zombie that needs to drink blood. So him and his roommate go around the city killing gangsters. It is awesome!
But then I figured more than likely he was talking about the new film called The Revenant that just came out. The one that stars Leonardo DiCaprio getting raped by a bear.
I’m not really sure what to say about the film that hasn’t already been said. I’ve heard those who love it and those who kind of thought it to be kind of boring. I for one really enjoyed the film. All it took was that first teaser trailer with the breathing. Maybe one of the best trailers I have ever seen for a film.
One thing I guess I should point out is this is a true story. And like most true stories, if it is good enough, will get made into a movie. This is what happened here. Twice. With a film called Man in the Wilderness.
I actually haven’t been able to track down a copy, so I’ve never seen it. But just from the trailer, it looks pretty damn similar.
One really interesting thing I heard about The Revenant is how the director Alejandro González Iñárritu used all natural lighting. Off the top of my head the only film I can think of that has tried something like that is The Relic. I’m sure many other films have, feel free to list them if you like. Only reason I bring it up is because of the problem The Relic had. It was too damn dark. You couldn’t see anything in the theater and the transfer to home video kind of made the film unwatchable. Even now I don’t think a proper release of the film has ever come out. Get on it, Screamfactory!
I think they really pulled it off here though. Even at night, when it is just a dimming fire or the sun sinking into the horizon, they really got it right.
I’m not really one for nature shots. I know my dad is. He loves seeing snow and vast landscapes of nothing.
Me? I don’t really care. I have zero interest in ever going hiking, or climbing… I mean, that’s how James Franco lost his arm!
But I am a big Tom Hardy fan. He is one of those actors you see and you just know. This guy is going to be huge. Or win an Oscar. The thing is, I don’t think he cares about that stuff. Unlike say Benedict Cumberbatch who just screams I want an Oscar now, give me!
I think Tom Hardy was the best thing about the film. Even though half the time I can’t understand a damn thing he says. I’m pretty sure he called the Indians Tree N******. How do you even come up with an insult like that?
Tom Hardy plays Fitzgerald, this scummy trapper from Texas that hates everyone and everyone hates him. He’s only there for money and nothing else.
One thing I wasn’t exactly sure of is where this was taking place. I want to say somewhere in northern Canada, they had Indian tribes there as well. And I’ve never heard of this tribe, but then again, I’m not exactly a historian on native Indian tribes, so who the hell knows. Plus the introduction of the French trappers… I don’t know. I have no idea where this is. But at the end Fitzgerald joins the military so you can’t kill him… so…
Oh, that really happened by the way. Fitzgerald joined the army so he couldn’t get charged with murder. So in the end he really did get away with it.
Thankfully the film ends differently.
DiCaprio plays Glass, a tracker who has gone native, I guess you could say. He has a son, who Tom Hardy likes calling a half breed.
I just have to mention how terrible Tom Hardy’s character is. I mean, just the scummiest nastiest sonofabitch I have ever seen for a villain.
The trappers, a band of a few hundred, get ambushed by Indians. They are on a warpath, searching for the chief’s daughter who was taken by a white man. So of course any white man in their path has to die. I mean, they are just hot on these trapper’s asses. They’re relentless with their pursuit.
DiCaprio and a few others escape on a tiny ship. Tom Hardy wants to stay on the ship, keep going down the river. But DiCaprio warns everyone the Indians will just be waiting for them. And they are, those who stayed with the boat are quickly slaughtered.
At this point DiCaprio is scouting the woods, that is when he spots two cubs. Oh no. You know that ain’t good, mama grizzly don’t like any of that. And he is viciously attacked. From what I’ve heard they used a real bear, a lot of what you see is real. I’m sure there was CGI here and there, but for the most part, real is the key word here. For all I know it was the same bear from Grizzly Maze.
I think really until this film, the most realistic bear attack I’ve seen was from this Canadian film called Backcountry. In that a bear just pulled this guy apart, legs first.
And as I was searching for some info on the bear used for The Revenant, I found people complaining about how maybe the real life bear attack he suffered wasn’t that bad. And if you read accounts of what really happened, it was most likely even worse. Getting just a tiny bit attacked by a bear is never a pretty picture. In fact I find it hard to even realize a scenario you even surviving. Bears are giant deadly beasts, one swipe with that claw and you are done for. And to survive something like that, even managing to kill the bear, is… this character was a badass.
Because of how much the men respect him, they try their best to carry him back to the closest fort. Tom Hardy isn’t having any of this. They got a tribe of Indians after them, hellbent on killing them. And in one instance, we get why he hates them so much.
(Fitzgerald was scalped by Indians. He wears a bandana through most of the film, and that’s because the top part of his scalp is missing.)
For extra pay, him and a rookie trapper agree to stay behind with Glass and his son. Not wanting to stay any longer, Fitzgerald tries killing Glass.
Glass’ son gets in the way and ends up dead. Then Fitzgerald just tosses Glass in a shallow grave, left to die or be killed by Indians.
But as we know, he doesn’t die. He crawls most of the way in this film, eating bugs, raw fish, even having to close a wound on his throat by cauterizing it with lit gunpowder.
If I had any kind of complaint, it would be for the dream sequences. They felt unnecessary, you are free to completely disagree with me, but it just felt too arty farty for a film that really didn’t need to get arty farty.
The best example of that would be for Dead Man. Which this film is not.
Oh and the real kicker at the end is the ones who took the chief’s daughter were these French trappers. Who the Indians made a trade deal with to get horses, so they could hunt down the ones they think are responsible.
So I’m going to skip a head, because mostly the plot for the rest of the film is just Glass crawling around.
Skipping ahead, Tom Hardy hears Glass has survived, so he enlists, steals the trapping team’s money and hightails it the fuck out of dodge. Glass sets off after him where they have a brutal knife vs. hatchet battle. I’ve always loved a knife fight in a film and this might be the best. Only rivaled by the one Tommy Lee Jones had with Benicio Del Toro in The Hunted.
In kind of a karma is a bitch moment, the band of Indians just happen to pass by. Instead of killing Fitzgerald, Leo just pushes him down the river, into the loving arms of the Indians, where they scalp and kill him.
Should you see this film? Yeah, see it! All natural lighting, amazing Cinematography. Shots that will leave you wondering just how in the hell they pulled it off…
It’s a fantastic film. If you have to see one film on the Oscar nomination list, make it Mad Max Fury Road. But after that, make it The Revenant. And maybe also check out the 2009 one as well.