A frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) is left for dead in the woods, having been mauled by a bear. His colleagues are paid to see he has a proper burial, but instead they abandon him in the snow and lie about his fate. The Revenant tells the story of his struggle to cling onto life.
This is a gruesome, difficult watch from Iñárritu. He takes a no-holds-barred approach, putting considerable effort into depicting the harsh realities of being out in the wild. It’s clear that this was not an easy film to make, but when sat on the other side of the screen one starts to tire rather quickly. It’s a long film, not that visually interesting and nowhere near substantial enough to support its large run-time.
However, DiCaprio is stellar and there’s no doubt he’s given it everything he’s got. As the film wears on, it could be said he becomes more and more like the bear that attacked him, and it’s a sight to behold.
There are also some snazzy long-take fight scenes at the start that are also worth mentioning. They actually hurt the film as a whole, by the time we’re done with the first 20 minutes, we’ve literally ‘seen it all’, but it was a great hook.
Not my pick for ‘best picture’ by any means, but The Revenant is an experience worth sitting through despite its pointless flashbacks and meandering pace.