I saw THE REVENANT on Christmas Day and WOW! –– this is an amazing film. Directed expertly by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu (BABEL and BIRDMAN), THE REVENANT is more of an experience as the camera moves along with –– and into –– the action so fluidly you truly feel like you're inside the movie from the first frames. The initial Indian attack sequence is both breathtaking and nerve-racking. The cinematography (EMMANUEL LUBEZKI –– "Sleepy Hollow" and "Gravity") of this film truly blew me away: the landscapes are outstanding to witness –– vast, dense, barren, harsh, and freezing cold for much of the 2 hour and 37 minute running time. How no one froze to death making THE REVENANT is a feat of filmmaking in itself. If it is all just faux movie snow and CGI, well...they did a superior job of suspending my disbelief.
Star and focus of the story, LEONARDO DiCAPRIO is truly exceptional as the broken man. And when I say "broken" I do mean B-R-O-K-E-N with capital letters. What this character endures is beyond edge-of-your-seat physical suffering and mental anguish.
This really isn't a spoiler here –– but the bear attack that sets the ball of misery and adventure rolling is one of the most intense sequences I've ever seen in a film. I'm generally desensitized to a lot of violence, but this one had me gripping the arms of my seat with white knuckles. Again WOW!
TOM HARDY as the baddie in the film is also truly outstanding. Some folks love Hardy and some can't stand him, but in THE REVENANT, if you didn't know it was Tom Hardy, you wouldn't know it was Tom Hardy.
Overall, THE REVENANT is a must see if you like your films gritty, real, and intense as a heart attack. This isn't a movie I'd be throwing into the DVD player everyday for a good time, but I'll definitely be having a second (and probably a third) viewing of this film when it hits the ancillary markets. And if the future Blu-ray has some great making-of features on it, I'll likely be purchasing it for my private collection. This film is that good.
Find the THE REVENANT where it's currently screening, or check it out when it opens wide on January 8th! And HAPPY NEW YEAR to EVERYONE!