Director: Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
Stars: Leonardo Di Caprio, Tom Hardy
2 (out of 5) Globes
“The Revenant” is a harsh film that was hard to make, and it never wants you, over its 156 minutes, to forget it. If filmmaking can be macho, here it is at its man-manliest. It took 10 years to make, nearly a year of that to shoot. It boasts a serious former “Tiger Beat” staple who wants his Oscar already, tearing through the wilderness to get it. It’s told entirely in difficult-looking long takes by the cinematographer who does it best: Emmanuel Lubezki, who minted himself as a rock star with the you-are-there jaunts through a hectic battle zone in “Children of Men.” A small chunk of “The Revenant” is versions of that scene, and if that’s not masculine enough, there’s also Tom Hardy somehow pronouncing even fewer consonants than usual.
It’s an impressive technical achievement, and only a fool could completely resist its rough-and-tumble, aggressive-beardo charms. At heart it’s a super-sized, roided-up version of “The Naked Prey,” Cornel Wilde’s minimalist boy’s adventure about an American, clad only in a loincloth, trying to navigate the wilderness of Africa en route to safety. Leonardo DiCaprio plays real-life survivalist Hugh Glass, though he might as well been credited, pretentiously, as “Man.” A fur trapper, he gets mauled on by a bear, naturally for a good five screen minutes. He’s then left for dead by Hardy’s John Fitzgerald, the most inhumane of his colleagues. He vows to make it back, even if that means crawling on his mucked-up legs, then give his failed murderer what’s comin’.