The Revenant Blu-ray Review
If you were to read, watch, and hear all the hype about THE REVENANT, you could easily believe it’s a knock-out of the park, 10 out of 10, movie. But when you’re watching, it doesn’t feel like a perfect movie. It’s admirable to know the effort, natural lighting, acting, the bear scene, and everything else that went into making this movie. It’s easy to see why Inarritu is a two-time Oscar winner and a future director that will be mentioned in the same breath as Steven Spielberg, Stanley Kubrick, and Martin Scorsese.
But even with every wonderful thing about it, I can’t help but feel THE REVENANT is a little bloated. At 186 minutes, it gets a little long. For a movie about revenge, the revenge takes a little while and the reason behind the revenge doesn’t come for quite a bit. After a gruesome, and visually outstanding, bear attack, Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is half-alive and on the verge of death. His fellow frontiersmen carry him along, thinking that he can still pull through, despite the gaping, bloody wounds all over his body.
John Fitzgerald (Hardy) sees Glass as dead weight and waits for an opportunity to get rid of Glass. In the silent scurry to leave Glass in a shallow grave, Fitzgerald has to kill Glass’ son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck). Fitzgerald tells the remaining survivors that Indians attacked them and that Glass and Hawk are now dead. But Glass, too weak to even mutter above a whisper, has to watch all of this in horror.
The true lengths of which Glass was willing to go, to live and get revenge, has been documented by historians and further enriched by fiction writers. Inarritu doesn’t let the truth get in the way of his story and after hearing the real-life differences with the movie, I’m hesitant to say that Inarritu captured Glass’ struggles with impeccable accuracy. It’s entertaining, don’t get me wrong. But playing along with what the viewer expects and what legitimately happened are two different things that will divide viewers.
Outside my nagging storytelling complaint, THE REVENANT is everything you’ve heard. It’s breathtaking, visually stunning and another stellar performance by DiCaprio. Hardy deserves some credit here as well, but not as much since it seems most of his lines were grunted. Possibly some leftover acting notes from MAD MAX: FURY ROAD. Hardy’s performance seems a bit restrained, especially when you’ve seen his undeniably best performance in BRONSON.
2015 was quite the year for the Academy and moviegoers. It’s easy to lose THE REVENANT in the sea of pictures because there was so much that was truly outstanding. The filming definitely sets it apart, but the acting is shadowed by much better performances in other flicks. When stacked against its competitors, THE REVENANT doesn’t hold up well, but in the long term, I’m sure it’ll be considered a classic.
Video: (1080p Widescreen 2:39:1) Inarritu attention to detail, as well as the gorgeous winter landscape of the great wilderness, is captured elegantly on this blu-ray. A movie like this must be watched on the biggest TV possible on blu-ray.
Audio: (English DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1) The audio mixing is well done, with no sounds becoming too overpowering. The run-of-the-mill soundtrack is eclipsed by the sounds of nature that permeate throughout.
A World Unseen (44:04): A wonderful documentary that was released on YouTube, most likely as a form of advertising for the movie. It features wonderful interviews and behind the scenes looks at THE REVENANT. It has a master’s touch since it condenses a lot of information in a short amount of time. The 44 minutes flies by.
Gallery: What you would expect from a gallery. A collection of still images from the shooting of THE REVENANT. It does make you yearn for more blu-ray features about an Oscar-nominated movie.