"Despite the talent... the film proves that a script can make or break a film's quality."
Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu is a great director. First known for deeply emotional dramas (21 Grams, Babel), he changed gears last year making the hilarious dark comedy Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance), which was masterful Academy Award winning cinema. Not resting on his laurels, he has changed gears again with the new gritty Western thriller, The Revenant.
Set during the 1820s, the film finds Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) — a man on a mission of survival and vengeance on those who wronged him — left for dead in the harsh, unchartered American wilderness.
The Revenant certainly impresses initially, with one of the most explosively gripping openings in recent memory, followed some horrifying interactions with the wilderness (don't mess with bears everyone). After this, the film unfortunately loses momentum, becoming languid, repetitive and aimless for most of its overlong runtime. Despite the talent, like Inarritu's solid direction and Emmanuel Lubezki's astonishing cinematography, capturing the danger/brutality of the wilderness, the film proves that a script can make or break a film's quality.
In acting, everyone enhances the gritty setting. DiCaprio is solid, trying his very best and showing phenomenal physical commitment, while Tom Hardy continues his screen dominance with another captivatingly layered characterisation. Overall, The Revenant is sadly disappointing, unable to use its potential and create a good film that should've been masterful.