Inspired by the novel which was inspired by the true story of Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a fur trapper who was attacked by a bear and left for dead in the wilderness of frontier America in the 1820s. The Revenant is the story of his incredible journey of endurance back to confront the man who left him to die, and killed his son [ref]the son was created, he never existed in real life, or so I’ve read[/ref].
It is a film with very little dialogue and whole heap of beautiful looking scenery and cinematography. But it is too long. And really, way too unbelievable. I mean, okay, maybe someone survives a bear attack and makes their way back to find help in real life, but no way does anyone survive all those dunkings in freezing rivers without dying of exposure and hypothermia. One of the “goofs” on the imdb page mentions that the real attack took place in May, and thinking about it, well duh! wouldn’t a bear have been hibernating in the middle of winter. And cubs? in winter! yeah, I really should’ve thought of that one while watching it.
As for the fact that both DiCaprio & Hardy are up for Oscars for acting in this film… I’m sorry, but these roles were not great acting parts. Both of them do a good solid job with their characters, but in fairness, there is very little there for them to do. It is an adventure/endurance film, and anyone looking for more than that in it is going to be disappointed.
The only other thing that it made me think was damn, people do kill a whole heap of things don’t they? Animals, other people, ways of life, anything at all. Dead.
So yeah, it looks fantastic, and the way it is shot gives it a strange sort of intimacy, but as a story? as characters? it just didn’t work for me.