THE REVENANT: It’s Really Good (for a laugh)

RATING: ★ ★ ★ ★

Since I didn’t know off the top of my head what the word “revenant” meant, I had thought, in the spirit of Shakespeare, it was a word created specifically for Art’s sake by combining the words revenge and covenant. Seeing the movie (and the squiggly red idiot line under the word when I type it) only reinforced this belief, because “The Revenant” is a grand, intense, soul-searching, cinematographic dream-scape of movie “inspired” by a book of the same name that was “inspired” by a legend which was more than likely “inspired” by a kernel of truth of the life of a mountain man named Hugh Glass, a contemporary of Grizzly Adams, may he rest in peace (both the real one who died long ago and, more importantly to those of my generation, to Dan Haggerty, the actor who portrayed him and who died recently) and Jedediah Smith (no, Robert Redford played Jeremiah Johnson, not Smith), which is about a father committed to his last breath regardless the odds or obstacles to exact revenge for the murder of his son.


In simplistic terms, it’s really, really good. It deserves all the Oscars nominations it has received, especially for Best Picture, Best Director (Iñárritu), Best Supporting Actor (Hardy), and Best Actor (DiCaprio).

As is typical with any film he is in, Tom Hardy stole the show. In my view, he just may be the best working actor there is right now. He out-acted DiCaprio, who is a pretty good actor in his own right – not great, but pretty good. But it doesn’t really matter as far as awards go seeing that they are up for different ones. But even if they were up for Best Actor, DiCaprio should still win it over Hardy, and all the others I’ve seen, for the overwhelming effort he invested and physical hardship and pain he endured for this role. His performance and commitment to his trade are remarkable.

As far as the logistics and filming of the movie, I do not know how Iñárritu did it. The movie is so big and so remote with so many moving parts – Mother Nature notwithstanding – I simply don’t know how they put it all together so seamlessly and beautifully, and breathtakingly so. I’m sure it will win for Best Cinematography.

I already said the movie is about a father’s commitment to exacting revenge for his son’s murder. And it is. But, unfortunately for Glass, the father, he has to fulfill this sad covenant that he makes with himself, his dead son, and his impartial god, after having just about the worst day, week, and however long his revenge exacting takes that one man can ever have.

I mean, this dude just gets keep getting creamed.

I mean, there are bears and “savages” and broken bones and infection and starvation and the frigid, merciless elements…

It’s like… Dude!

I mean, Death just keeps so relentlessly and rabidly on his ass that it finally became comical to me… and the guy sitting next to me.

Remember the movie “Monty Python and the Holy Grail?” Each time another near-death tragedy happened to Glass and his near-death tragic soul, I couldn’t help repeating in my mind that famous and funny line from the movie:

It’s just a flesh wound.

I whispered this to the guy next to me and we ended up giggling like two kids each successive time Death pick Glass up and pile-drived his head back into the mat.

Which brings me back to the word “revenant” and its meaning. Come to find out it isn’t a made-up word after all. It means, “a person who has returned, especially from the dead.”

There couldn’t be a more fitting word for this movie. In fact, it could be called The Revenant To The Nth Power, Glass returns from the dead so many times.

There are more things about the movie I could make fun with… like pointing out a cliché or two – yes, of course Glass gets all Luke Skywalker on us when he guts his horse (that had recently just fallen over a cliff with him – he survives; the horse doesn’t) and crawls inside it to stay warm during the night – but I’ll stop with the merrymaking.

But it doesn’t matter, the movie is good enough, and grand enough, that it can handle a bit of criticism from yours truly.

Out of all the movies nominated for Best Picture, I’ve only seen this, “Mad Max,” and “The Martian.” Out of those three, all of which I like very much, “The Revenant” is my pick to win.

If you haven’t seen it, you should.

Based upon the novel by Michael Punke


Rating System:
★ = Unwatchable
★ ★ = Poor Movie
★ ★ ★ = Average Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ = Outstanding Movie
★ ★ ★ ★ ★ = Exceptional Movie


57 Replies to “THE REVENANT: It’s Really Good (for a laugh)”

  1. We had totally different views of the movie! LOL. I still gave it a 3 because it wasn’t horrible, but I walked out of it thinking “Oh, dear god, can we just give DiCaprio an Oscar so we never have to sit through 2 and a half hours of him looking hurt again?” Plus, the river scene! There’s no way he would have survived that -.-. Always interesting to see others viewpoints, though!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha… we are of the same mind when it came to the movie’s believability. However, If I had to judge just about any movie on believability they would just about all get a one. Fortunately, to me, there is much more to consider when watching a film. :)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh yes, there is much more. I completely agree. However, its the icing on the cake to watching a man push himself around on his stomach for 45 flippin’ minutes. I mean, if you want to do a survivor story, do the story of Mary Ingalls Wilder in Follow the River. Now THAT was a survivor story. The Revenant took a lackluster book, completely changed some of the stuff in it (Son? What son?) and made it into a potentially more boring movie.

        I mean, if you’re going to change stuff from the book, that’s fine, but at least give us a little more action or something!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. As soon as you mentioned Monty Python, I thought you were going to go with Life of Brian and the ending song “Always look on the bright side of life.” But having not seen The Revenant, I don’t know how relevant that would be. ^_^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha ha… not even close to being a bright side. In fact I was going to mention this in the review but it was getting too long, but, one of the elements of the movie I like best is how well color, or lack thereof actually, was used to enhance the beauty of the cinematography. I’m not sure if we ever get to see the sun once in the movie.


  3. Its an extraordinary movie. It is the story of the The Hanged Man, death of the ego. In the Heaven’s Gate scene, you can clearly see all the esoteric symbols on the building. The movie is a soul’s symbolic journey through life. The movie feels similar to King of Cups coming out soon, more Tarot allusions. Its about the death of a man’s ego, lived out brutally through his love, mercy and forgiveness. Amazing really. Thanks for the review.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Okay, I’m gonna say that was your fault because I clicked the “flesh woound” link and got to laughing at the Python joke! And when I came back to the review I guess I missed that paragraph :-) Have a good one!

        Liked by 1 person

  4. When I read “for a laugh” in your title I was afraid I was going to read that you didn’t like it but then I was pleasantly surprised because I frickin loved it and I think it’s by far the best movie in 2015 and it should win all its nominations. Like you said, it’s so big and real because the cast was truly living in those freezing conditions, and DiCaprio was truly eating raw meat (even though he’s a vegetarian)… the whole film was shot chronologically and in natural light. It’s just unbelievable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Mani. Well said. I feel so fortunate that I saw it in a movie theater because I don’t believe I’ve ever seen a movie that felt so big, so elementally connected to life’s soul. It’s not the most interesting, or even most entertaining, movie of the year in my opinion – I would have to say Sicario is my favorite film of the year – but it certainly is, when all factors are considered, the best.


  5. I like your review, it seems fair, balanced without an ulterior agenda, and all said with a respect that did not truck-out honesty.
    I used to be an avid cinema-nut, (was a big Star Wars fan) but it seems storytelling has taken the back seat to sensationalized visuals. The intensity that is hard packed and concentrated in film these days, so the visual thrills can disguise the fact that there is really no creatively new story, (i.e. The Force Awakens is just a retelling of A New Hope, Avatar is Dances with Wolves) just new technology. And I do worry those false images you discussed, can only lead people to despair. That such movies sell a image of human achievements that cannot be emulated in reality. While a real story that tries to make a contribution to human achievements, worth believing in, by leaving something good and positive behind is given the nerts.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your kind, thoughtful response, NOK. I am in, if not complete, then close accord with the main of your sentiments.

      While originality with purpose is always the toughest of tasks, thankfully the Indie’s thrive and its all there for us to discover and waiting to reward us for our efforts.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Very accurate. I liked it as well, but there were times it was like DiCapro’s horrible, no good, very bad day. Still very well done and the cinematography was outstanding.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Kurt! Great review. I had also encountered the word “renevant” in the past, probably in some video game (which I think was Fire Emblem, which portrayed an “undead” creature) but I haven’t bothered to search the meaning, so I just felt nostalgic there for a second. Anyway, thanks for following my blog! I was scanning yours and I believe I’ll have a great read here. Looking forward for more of your posts!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I don’t know if it was the relentless cinematography, or a broken thermostat in the cinema hall.. But I almost wished I could snuggle into the horse along with Leonardo :/

    Liked by 1 person


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