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‘The Revenant’ Review

revenant-leo

I’m going to start this by listing off all of the things that makes ‘The Revenant’ objectively phenomenal.

The cinematography is outstanding. The entire film is shot with only natural light, and it’s beautiful. The opening scene is filmed extremely well and sucked me right into the movie. The scene with Leo and the bear was insane, and so incredibly difficult to watch because of how real and brutal it was. Many other scenes had this same effect on me as well.

There is likely no argument that can be made to say that ‘The Revenant’ isn’t a close to perfectly made movie as far as aesthetics. The acting was also terrific, ย and even the sound design was quite remarkable.

With all of that out of the way, I need to openly admit that this movie did nothing for me. I could appreciate everything it did from a film-making stand point. I recognize the effort that went into it, the great performances, and the vision that the director had. But at the end of the day, this was more of an art house film that I just could not love.

There are people that will most definitely love this movie. People that have a huge appreciation for photography, paintings, or any other forms of visual art will indeed think of this in the highest regard. I however (despite the fact that I write a movie blog), consider myself to be more of an average movie-goer. I go to the movies to either be entertained, or to be educated on a specific subject. Sometimes, I walk out of a movie getting both. ‘The Social Network’ is a great example of this. The movies’ script, music, and overall feel entertains me, but I also learn about the history of Facebook, and the legal battles that took place. Sometimes I’m just more informed than entertained. ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ is an example of that…So are most documentaries. I also recently saw ‘Spotlight’ which is another good example of this. And then sometimes I’m just plain entertained, and this is why I can kick back and watch ‘Star Wars’ or ‘The Avengers’ annually.

My point is that ‘The Revenant’ did not entertain, nor educate me on anything. I appreciated what I was seeing, but the end result did not resonate with my tastes. Many will consider this a masterful work of art. I see it, I get it. But for me it was boring.

Leonardo DiCaprio probably does deserve an Oscar for this performance. It was great. But that’s another problem I had with it. I sincerely hope that Leo does not actually care about some stupid trophy. But I couldn’t help but feel that this film is just him doing everything possible (before making a deal with Satan), to finally obtain this stupid award. The guy eats raw bison liver and sleeps in an actual horse carcass for God’s sake! It’s amazing that he actually did these things to make his performance feel visceral, but it was just difficult to watch. Aside from this, you’re really just watching him suffer and die for 2 and a half hours. That’s not fun for me.

After awhile, the performances, visuals, and even a lot of dialogue becomes redundant. I really got nothing out of this movie except for a few brilliantly crafted scenes. The final fight between Leo and Tom Hardy was very brutal and intense, but getting there took far too long. If there’s some deep message within this movie, I either got the gist of it somewhere in the middle, or I missed the point completely. Either way, I just don’t care what it could possibly be at this point.

I know I am absolutely in the minority with my thoughts. It seems like almost every film fan out there loves this movie. I just want to reiterate that I totally understand why this is, and that I do at least appreciate what this movie was doing. Objectively, it’s a nearly perfect movie, with how it’s shot, the performances, the visuals, the editing, etc…

But on a personal level, ‘The Revenant’ accomplished very little.

Rating: C

But hey, who am I to say that you won’t enjoy it? ย Just be warned about what type of movie this is before seeing it. It’s for a very different type of film fan. The one that I am not.

16 comments on “‘The Revenant’ Review

  1. Kudos for sharing your honest opinion dude!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Good review. It’s a long movie, but also quite unrelenting and grim. Still, however, I was compelled just about the whole way through.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I felt exactly the same. My review was very similar! I have a lot of friends who have come out of this movie thinking it’s amazing. I’ve just told them to go watch it again

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh man. Even If I did enjoy the movie a bit more, I still don’t think I’d ever be able to handle watching it again. I am glad I’m not the only one that didn’t didn’t label it near-perfection. As I said, I could appreciate the film for its other aspects but the end result was just bleh.
      Just checked out your blog. Love the set up! I look forward to reading more of your stuff. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just got in from seeing it…those are some pretty spot on points!
    Once you take away the epic grandeur and gorgeous locations, what else is in this film?
    A fine review indeed – loved your insights on being entertained/educated as well!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Good review and that is okay not everyone likes the same movies and that’s why it’s fun to read people’s different opinions on them. I loved LOVE this movie probably one of my faves and I hated with a passion the Social Network movie. So yeah we all like different things, but everyone can agree they like Star Wars. haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    • And I can totally understand why someone wouldn’t like The Social Network…or any walk and talk for that matter. Aaron Sorkin’s dialogue can be really fast and confusing. I’m currently watching The Newsroom (a show that he created and wrote) and sometimes I really wish it would slow down. Some days I can’t even handle watching it, I really have to have a not so stressful day to keep up and enjoy it. But I definitely agree, I love reading other opinions too! It makes it so much more fun for sure.

      Like

      • You know what I don’t think I am a fan of Aaron Sorkin, something about him bugs me. I couldn’t watch the Newsroom, there was something about that show that bugged me and I never knew that he wrote it. No wonder! haha.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I have to admit that it’s tough to watch sometimes. There are episodes where there is just too much going on and it’s hard to pick up on the extreme fast pace. So I definitely get where you’re coming from. I watch The Newsroom with my girlfriend and it seems like every other episode I have to pause it and ask her what the hell is happening. Her listening skills are far superior to mine.
        With that said, I feel like I’m on the verge of liking/not liking his style. I like it because I do like the comedic timing of a lot of the humorous dialogue, and it’s so detailed and all based on intelligent material, that I actually feel like I’m learning something. On the other hand, I do dislike his style because often times, it makes me feel dumb if I don’t catch everything that’s happening. I consider myself to be a more visual learner, and that’s probably a huge reason why I’m kind of split.
        Also, sometimes I find the extreme rapid pace of dialogue to be extremely unrealistic. I’m never around back and forth conversation that’s that quick in real life, so the “finishing each others’ sentences” thing comes off as extremely tacky and cheesy to me. This is found in all of his work, regardless of the direction somehow. It leaves very little time to breathe and for the viewer to digest everything.

        Like

  6. “I go to the movies to either be entertained, or to be educated on a specific subject. Sometimes, I walk out of a movie getting both.”

    Given the quote above, I think your take is a fair and honest assessment even though I belong to the camp of those who loved the movie. I can relate because sometimes if I felt a movie did not move, touch, or teach me anything in any way (especially about specific characters), even though it is universally lauded, I do not give it a recommendation.

    Aside from the elements you mentioned, like photography and use of natural light, I admired the movie from a sensory standpoint. There’s always something interesting to look at, to listen to, to consider. What is a character thinking or feeling when he says (or is unable to say) nothing? It’s different from many other movies because it makes us think a little bit, often if we were in another’s shoes.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a very good point! But even in my own response to that specifically, I think that maybe I just grew tired of thinking about the characters and scenarios very fast because something was missing to hold me emotionally there for 2.5 hours. Had this been just a solid 2 hours, I really might have had a peaked interest throughout. Instead, it was all just too drawn out to the point I didn’t care anymore.
      There are definitely many movies that support all that you just said above. Avatar is one of the biggest examples I can think of. Just look at how beautiful that movie is. But…personally, I do not feel a single thing about any of the characters. So then I can’t get a feel for what’s happening either for many sections of the movie. But others might feel way more emotional invested. I just didn’t.

      Like

  7. Good honest review, everybody has their own take that’s why I find it interesting reading what people have to say and see things from other people’s perspectives. I talked to friends about it and they thought it was long, especially the middle part dragged on. I enjoyed the Revenant myself, totally agree about the lighting and performances.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Definitely long, and for me, not filled with much substance. Terrific effort though, and I can’t say that I absolutely hated it either. There were moments I was super into it, but the rest of it dragged just too long for my tastes.
      I agree! It’s fun to see other perspectives. Thanks for reading ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

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