The Revenant - Movie Review

Feb 3, 2016
the revenant imax review 20th century fox philippines

The Revenant tells the story of Hugh Glass in his survival after being mauled by a bear and betrayed by an arrogant fellow trapper. In this version, Glass has a son killed by Fitzgerald to turn this into a gritty revenge story. And it kind of works artistically, the movie paints the mood with absolute surrealism of grief and violence. Thematically, there was potential, but in the end it kind of shoehorns what could have been a painful realization. Either way, this is one of the most terrifically crafted films you may see in a while. The effort and ambition is shown at every imagery and that alone made The Revenant a pretty fascinating experience.

the revenant imax review 20th century fox philippines

The movie opens with Hugh Glass brooding over a tragedy of losing his wife, which made him protective to his son for being a reminder of her. Then it cuts to an expedition of trappers who are hunting for pelts, then attacked by a Native tribe and escaped; Glass is with his son, though having prejudice by Fitzgerald for being a half-Native. Then you get the story; I think the added elements is for the sake of giving Glass a colder motivation of hunting down the men who abandon him in his dying condition. It is also made to bring this journey a grander theme of spirituality and morality towards the force of nature, but it's kind of a stretch at times and it never becomes subtle either. What hurts more is the final part where Glass ends up verbalizing the theme of what he learned in his suffering. There should be pain on that sacrifice he had chosen, then yet he manages to witness that reward he was seeking for. The final note already feels a little unearned, but the last part just made it feel like a betrayal.

the revenant imax review 20th century fox philippines

Though what's perfect in this film is the filmmaking. There has been an interesting story behind the set where director Iñárritu pushes his craft, by even using natural light, and DiCaprio experiencing the dining struggle of the character. For the direction, it looks very magnificent, every shot of this film deserves to be seen in a big screen, it's just glorious to look at. But the most impacting are the images of death. The movie just pictures the coldness of the bodies like the loss of life is a big deal even in this image of fiction. This has been one of Leonardo DiCaprio's most committed performances, he had to actually eat a raw bison, if that's actually surprising to anyone, but the commitment is admirable and makes the performance compelling even with lesser words, we can see the sorrow and struggle in his eyes. The supporting are predictable great as well, Tom Hardy makes for an entertaining arrogant antagonist.

the revenant imax review 20th century fox philippines

The Revenant is all spectacle, but really priceless spectacle that you rarely see in a film this mainstream. The ambition is too enormous that it somehow drops the ball at the very end, it would have been thematically powerful if it was more subtle at that final few minutes. But it's the experience that made it brilliant. I wish it was only about Glass struggling to rise back avenging his son, the added spiritual theme just doesn't work as it wanted to be when it starts verbalizing it. Just let the action speak whatever it wanted to say, because the movie is really terrific at visual storytelling. It's just a small misstep for a movie already this grand, so The Revenant is definitely going to be the cinematic ride of your life.

The geek rates it 8/10!

the revenant imax review 20th century fox philippines poster


Mirzel Torres is an avid moviegoer and watches anything that caught his attention. You can see him roam in cinema houses every week, and read his reviews on his blog.

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