Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) is a scout in the 1820s for an expedition on the hunt for furs. After being attacked and mauled by a bear, Glass is left for dead by his associates. But he doesn’t die and slowly crawls his way back to camp, all the time dreaming up ways to exact his revenge
This movie has been rated R because a bear tries to rip a man into tiny pieces
Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) is a scout in the 1820s on an expedition collecting furs. While hunting with his half native son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), the expedition is attacked by Arikara Indians and a load of his buddies get scalped. Escaping with their lives, a couple of furs and not much else, the surviving 10 frontiersmen make their way back to settlement by boat.
Pulling in (it’s a boating term), Glass and crew decide to make their way back to camp over land, much to the chagrin of hard-ass army man, Fitzgerald (John Hardy). Fitzgerald figures they are safer to go by boat but Glass disagrees and Fitzgerald is overruled by his captain, Henry (Domhnall Gleeson). Along the way, Glass goes ahead of party and encounters a couple of lovely baby grizzly bears – possibly having a picnic. Alarmed at the sight of nature’s greatest killing machine, the grizzly promptly starts ripping and gnawing the human into minute pieces. After a looooonnnnggg period of head biting, back scratching and neck gouging, Glass finally manages to murder the bear, as he probably originally intended to do.
After a while the party find Glass, near death, and begin dragging him back to camp in a makeshift stretcher. Going is tough however and the Captain decides some people should stay behind and mind Glass while the others make their way back and send help. Hawk, Bridger (Will Poulter) and surprisingly, Fitzgerald (cue evil music) volunteer to stay behind – for a sum of money. However once they’re gone, Fitzgerald goes all nasty, kills Hawk and tricks Bridger into leaving Glass to die in a shallow grave.
The rest of the movie chronicles Glass’ harrowing journey back to the settlement to seek out his revenge against the scoundrel Fitzgerald. Will Glass make it before the injuns get a hold of him? Will the baby grizzlies pick up his scent and get their revenge for a ruined picnic and savagely murdered parent? Probably, bears can be dicks like that
- Strong DiCaprio performance although I felt he was eclipsed by Hardy
- Beautifully shot
- Andy Serkis is, once again, amazing as one of the bear cubs
- Probably a little bit long – like 30 min or so
- Brutal at times (like, almost all of the time) – makes Saving Private Ryan look like The Teletubbies!
I heard this movie being described as pain porn before I saw it and that is probably the most accurate description. The main character suffers horrific injury after injury and each one is so brutally depicted that even those of us with cast iron guts are forced to wince and look away at times. The bear scene is probably the most horrific but because he manages to survive that it makes each subsequent mishap more and more gruesome. I know that artistic liberties were taken, but the fact that this guy existed, was actually attacked by a bear and did in fact crawl over 200 miles back to camp makes it all a little more real. It’s clear they are trying to hammer home how bad it was for this guy but it seems a bit OTT and gratuitous at times – I think we get the point early on.
All that said, DiCaprio gives a good performance (I’m not sure Oscar worthy) and Hardy gives an even better performance (probably Oscar worthy) and if you can stomach the violence, gore and often lack of scalp, then The Revenant is a must see