Sunday, January 24, 2016

Xmastime Movie Review: The Revenant

I agree with all the usual things you've heard about this film: incredibly riveting, insanely shot, philosophically compelling, Leo's got the Oscar wrapped up, etc.  I was, however, disappointed that they decided to cave in to so many Hollywood cliches; not just revenge, but revenge served with a "duh" message from the guy being revenged upon, the overly-noble Indians, and the endless flashbacks/hallucinations of our hero's dead wife. Mel Gibson should get double royalties for this, via Braveheart and The Patriot. And maybe Mandy Patankin ("My name is Hugh Glass! You killed my son! Prepare to die!")

I just wish instead of IMMEDIATELY jumping back on the revenge trail (did he even take a moment to take a hot bath/eat some reindeer jerky puffs?), Glass would've reflected on what he'd been through, how ridiculous it was that he was alive and how he should spend the rest of his life, and whether it was worth it to chase down some guy who was beneath him anyway. Which reminds me of another thing that bugged me - as great as Hardy was, and his role was crucial in so many ways, he seemed a bit TOO cartoonish. Just plain super-evil to be the opposite of Glass' super-good, no layering at all. Perfectly content to know his role in life was to be this guy's foil, even to the point of death which he so easily received, as if saying "that's a wrap!"

That said, again, riveting. Marley said it best, even at 2 1/2 hours it felt like 40 minutes. A stunning performance and production.

RANDOM THOUGHTS (Warning: potential plot spoilers!!!):
- Were these people wearing the best clothing material ever made? Rags and wraps, yet they easily cruised through freezing weather and had no problem jumping into ice water. I mean, (to be said in the voice of Paul Lynde) take a lesson gore-tex!

- Little TOO easy to sniff out a Barnes/Elias Platoon thing re: Glass/Fitz. (also touched on by FILMVETTER.)

- Until he was able to walk again, didn't Leo's performance seem like an extended take of that crazy drug-fueled scene from Wolf of Wall Street? I mean, no way I'm the only one who was thinking this, right?

- Every mountain man/fur trapper apparently comes with a medical degree and an ability to instantly make a fire from a blade of grass and ice.

- Was Fitzgerald right in thinking the group should have left Glass behind to die to save themselves? Probably. I know I couldn't have done it; I thought the other guy's inability to literally shoot Glass in the head was a nice touch of humanity in a brutal situation. Either way it's a great question and the crux of the movie to me.

- Would love to create a fake trailer making it look like a comedy.

- There's no way I would've survived any 15 second stretch of this movie. At all.

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