The Revenant is a movie that takes place in the early 1800’s and follows the adventures of a bunch of fur trappers who can’t wait to get their payday for a haul of furs they just got,but things take a wild turn when they’re ambushed by Arikara Indians, uneasiness and grimaces ensue as most of the trappers are killed while trying to escape. Among these fur trappers we have that guy who would eventually get an Oscar for this role that’s right Tom Hardy. Wait hold on….okay apparently Leonard DiCaprio got the Oscar for his role in this I don’t know why but okay, I guess I’ll have to talk about him. Leonardo DiCaprio plays another fur trapper named Hugh Glass,who was actually a real person which this story was BASED on. Notice how I said based? That’s because there were a few creative liberties that were included in the movie to make it more exciting,but I digress that’s for later on. So Hugh has this son who is part Native American that I’m not sure if he’s actually the father or if he just kind of adopted him when Hugh fell in love the mother? It’s hard to tell because through out the movie we’re given flashbacks with little to no dialogue and quick cuts of a village being burned down,BUT I digress. So Hugh’s name is Hawk and we see Hugh giving the tough love act to Hawk because of the untrust most people had against Native Americans back in the 1800’s.
So these fur trappers are running from the Arikara and decide to hide their furs away in a marked location, Tom Hardy who plays John Fitzgerald another fur trapper complains about all troubles this Hugh Glass is causing everyone,being a tracker and guide and all. We learn that John Fitzgerald is the main antagonist and that he just wants to get his money for his furs and not die. Man what a villian. So the trappers set up camp and sleep, Hugh is plagued by nightmares of the French burning down that village again,but now we see a Young Hawk standing there, pretty deep I know. Hugh wakes up and goes scouting, upon crossing some cubs Hugh engages in combat with a very defensive mother bear, the mother bear LITERALLY TEARS HUGH TO SHREDS,but through magical 1800’s medicine and science Hugh barely survives. Now the trapper group has to make their way back to base with a nearly dead Hugh. The leader of the Trapper group Andrew Henry (played by Domhnall Gleeson) tries but miserably fails in killing Hugh. Why you ask? Because he values the life of the man who saved him from those Arikara’s earlier in the movie. So he tells John and another guy from the group that if they stay back and wait for Hugh to die with a respectable death he’ll pay them more for their services. John being totally all over the fact of waiting for some guy who is going to die to get more money wholeheartedly agrees, so does the other guy, Hugh’s son Hawk also says he’ll stay by his father’s side, this is the most bonding we’ll see between this family until their next scene together.
After a couple of hours John basically tells Hugh I’m going to kill you for the benefit of everyone here and tries to smother Hugh,what a champ, being efficient in his work,or so you’d think until Hawk see John trying to kill his dad. Hawk attacks John,John kills Hawk and now we’re supposed to feel bad because a father lost his son. There was nothing really too motivating other than that but you never really get a feel for the father son bond they might have had. So John tells the other trapper that Hugh is dead and that Hawk ran away and with that the Arikara are right behind them and they have to split,they aren’t but this guy is too afraid of death that he believes John and they vamoose. Hugh crawls over to a now dead Hawk and cries out in anguish though it’s more like a grunt when you’re trying too hard to lift something.
The rest of the movie is about Hugh and his travels through America’s not yet named Dakotas,with great highlights like, sleeping through a snow storm without catching hypothermia,sleeping inside a horse while naked,eating raw bison,eating raw fish,and my favorite,saving a random Arikara woman that will come into play later in the film. Remember earlier how I said Leonardo DiCaprio won an Oscar for this? There was no reason he should have won an Oscar for this,he’s been in much better roles where he actually acted. In this film he mostly just grunts,falls over,and eats raw things. I would have to say that the movie is enjoyable if you would cut out about 25% of the scenes where Leo is struggling to do some simple task. The one’s who should be praised are the supporting cast and actors, the movie should have been less about Hugh’s angst and suffering and more about what was going on with the people who were involved with what went down,periodically going back to Hugh and introducing some new challenge for him,overcoming that challenge and then going back to how thing were being handled with the Fur Trappers. If you have free time or just want to see what it looks like for Leonardo DiCaprio fight a CGI bear then I would suggest watching this, but if you’re looking for a much better Western movie then might I suggest The Hateful 8?
You can get The Revenant from Amazon.