Geek Review: The Revenant

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OK, The Revenant was not a Geek movie.  Not really.

But I’m writing a review anyway.  And I’m typing this Sunday afternoon, so I have no idea how many Oscars it will win by the time this goes live Monday morning.  So, deal with it.  SPOILER-free review after the cut.

The Revenant is a story where a mostly silent protagonist struggles to survive in a desolate landscape while pursued by hostile forces.  The movie took a long time to make and was beset by many problems during production…

Wait, that’s Mad Max:  Fury Road.

OK, The Revenant tells the story of a boy and his single parent trying to survive in an isolated setting…

No, that’s Room.

OK, The Revenant tells the story where greed and lack of foresight hurts the little guy while ineffective government officials let it happen…

Hold it.  That’s The Big Short.

No, The Revenant is the story of a moral man trying to keep his bearings in a world where amoral and apathetic individuals come into constant conflict with each other…

Crap.  That’s Bridge of Spies.

OK, OK, The Revenant is the true story of injustice done, and how pure anger and righteousness force the hero to see justice done for the youngsters hurt by others…

No, no, no, no.  That’s Spotlight.

Fine.  The Revenant shows how a single man left for dead fights for survival against a hostile landscape…

The Martian.  That’s The Martian.

The Revenant tells the story of finding love and meaning in the New World…

BROOKLYN!  THAT WAS BROOKLYN!

OK, for real now.  The Revenant tells the story of Hugh Glass.  Based on true events, Hugh and his half-Indian son Hawk are part of a trapping expedition.  After Glass is mauled by a bear, another trapper kills Hawk and buries Glass alive.  Glass, however, is too much of a badass to stay down, and now has a purpose in life, namely seeking justice for Hawk and himself, but mostly Hawk.

The Hawk part, by the way, is not historic.  The real Glass just got robbed.  He never had a son.

DiCaprio does OK for a part that mostly requires him to look like he’s suffering.  He barely talks the entire movie.  Contrast that with Tom Hardy as the amoral Fitzgerald, who doesn’t seem capable of shutting up.  Further contrast can be made with the way Glass treats Hawk as a loving mentor, while Fitzgerald simply takes to showing the idealistic teenager he’s with all manner of blackmail and immorality.

Really, the movie may be one of total isolation.  Even when multiple actors appear onscreen at the same time, many times they are shown in the middle of a vast expanse, as if they are alone in the wilderness.  Mostly, actors are shown alone.

The landscape itself is beautiful in its own way, and aside from Glass, there doesn’t seem to be too many really good people out there.  The other American trappers, their French competition, even many of the Natives, seem to be out just to get each other.  And that’s when the landscape doesn’t seem to be trying to do it for them.

As I said above, I don’t know yet if the movie will win a single Oscar, but it was fine.  Let’s say eight out of ten angry mother bears.

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4 thoughts on “Geek Review: The Revenant”

  1. I think he deserved an Oscar for many of his other movies but not this one. It was boring. Expect being attacked by a bear. He crawls through most of the movie. He really doesn’t act, and it isn’t his fault. Just the story is not there.

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    1. I don’t personally put much stock in the Oscars, but there is that category for giving folks one they are long overdue for when they had done much, much better work in the past. Martin Scorcese has much better movies than The Departed, and the less said about Al Pacino’s role in Scent of a Woman, the better.

      Liked by 1 person

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