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The Revenant Featured

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Review written by Jon Patch with 4 paws out of 4

Revenant

20th Century Fox. New Regency Pictures, Anonymous Content and Appian Way present an R rated, 156 minute, Adventure, Western, Drama, directed and written by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, novel by Michael Punke with a theater release date of January 8, 2016.

 

In this life as long as we are breathing and we know it than we are still alive but for Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) he continually has flashbacks and memories of the mother (Grace Dove) to his son Hawk (Forrest Goodluck) and the life he once cherished. Set in the early 1800’s Hugh along with his Pawnee son are scouts for a large group of pioneers led by Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) as they hunt in the deep country for meat and pelts. Hugh along with his son and some others are tracking game when suddenly shots are fired and the Sioux tribe is attacking the American’s camp. Many are killed and the Sioux Indians take much of the Americans hard work to trade for weapons and horses from the French. As it turns out the Sioux chief is also searching for his daughter Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk’o) who he believes was taken by the Americans.

A small group of Americans were able to escape down river by boat but soon thereafter take to the mountains on foot in hopes of reaching their forte before they are found by the Sioux tribe. Along their journey Hugh stumbles upon a Grizzly and her young cubs and soon is brutally mauled and thought for dead by his fellow hunters. The men find him and try their best to carry his weight along their journey but when their only option is to leave him behind the men leave him under the care of his son Hawk and two volunteers, young Jim Bridger (Will Poulter) and John Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), soon thereafter breathing for one of them comes to an end. Based on a lie John convinces Jim to leave Hugh behind half buried in a shallow grave but through persistence and a will to survive Hugh crawls his way back into the world with one thought in mind which is to seek revenge on the man that left him behind and took his only son from him.

Open wounds and in excruciating pain Hugh struggles from a crawl to an eventual walk surviving not only from the bitter elements of Mother Nature but also the wild animals, lack of strength for food and the threat of the Sioux tribe finding him. Yet through it all Hugh finds a way to survive sometimes with the strength of a memory, the need for revenge or the brief encounter with other humans along the way. When John hears of Hugh’s survival he flees the Forte and heads to the mountains since he knows the lies he told about Hugh and Hawk would come to surface and that Hugh would truly seek revenge for the murder of his son. While Hugh searches for John in the cold snowy mountains he soon realizes that revenge is in God’s hands and as for his own life a good deed will always help you breathe in the end.

This film was absolutely fantastic and had me gasping out loud at least three times due to the gruesome and violent action during battle scenes, the bear mauling and the horse race for survival. Honestly I can’t remember when I gasped out loud before like this which meant this film all two and half hours of it left me truly breathless at times. The sheer beauty of the film with some phenomenal cinematography, the bloody and horrific battle scenes and the pure determination of one man to survive in the wilderness while being struck by some of the worst situations anyone could imagine are just some of the reasons to see this film. Great writing that will have you appreciating life and questioning the meaning of it is just one of many reasons this film will have the academy looking at it during Oscar season. Grant it for the animal friendly people out there remember it is just a movie and I’m sure the AHA kept a close eye on our animal friends from beginning to end. At least I hope so because there are some unbelievable scenes in this film surrounding horses, birds, pigs, wolves, bison, elk and so much more.

As for the cast well DiCaprio and Hardy I’m sure will be considered for Oscar nods and if not then there’s something wrong in Hollywood. Both of these men especially Leo showed nothing but true class A acting that reaches to a higher level of stardom. DiCaprio is faced with so many obstacles and not once does he miss a beat. Hardy is just as good although his character doesn’t have to deal with as much as DiCaprio does. I knew I recognized Poulter and those distinguished eye brows of his from comedy but thankfully he pulls this role off while sharing a pretty good amount of actual screen time with the big boys. Goodluck was convincing as is the entire remaining cast whom all do a remarkable job on this film but if I had one negative to say it would be pointed at Gleeson who I thought lacked a bit of strength in his role of authority. Either way it’s not enough for me to take away the rank I gave it since this film is truly masterful from beginning to end.

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