The Revenant – movie review

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Winner of 3 Oscars, this movie stars Leonardo DeCaprio and Tom Hardy in a tale allegedly inspired by true events. DiCaprio plays legendary explorer Hugh Glass as he struggles for survival and revenge against unbelievable odds.

Visually, this movie is spectacular, with breathtaking scenery of a very wintery American wilderness. There are a few ‘yuck’ moments which add a visceral, edgy quality that prevents the movie from becoming a schmaltzy ‘survival against the odds’ yawn. The special effects are awesome and fit seamlessly with the context, avoiding any hint of the magical or fantastic.

Advertised as, ‘inspired by’ true events, I personally found it a little over the top and suspect that a rather large dollop of artistic licence has been added to the actual historical facts on which the movie is apparently based. I am left wondering just how much ‘inspiration’ they took from the facts. This is one of two things that disappoint me about it, because the dialogue is decidedly dull. The characters spend much of the movie grunting their way through fight scenes, screaming in pain, and growling revenge. The only relationship dynamic is between the two lead characters, and that is flat at best.

The ‘survival’ aspect of the story has, I feel, been taken too far, making DiCaprio’s character and his experiences, unbelievable. We all know movies build things up a little but this one is too much. The native Indians in the movie come across as simpletons, little better than grunting savages without any basic ability to reason or make sound judgements. I feel this does them an enormous disservice.

I am left wishing I had seen it before buying the DVD, as I feel I have wasted my money on a movie I doubt I’ll watch again. Not Leonardo DiCaprio’s best career moment.

I give this movie 2 stars for stunning visuals.

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