Leonard DiCaprio plays a legendary fur trapper I had never heard of before this movie came out in The Revenant, the story of how said fur trapper survives getting mauled by a bear, only to be left behind by his men in the unforgiving wintry frontier with only the dream of avenging his murdered son and winning the coveted “How the Heck is This Man Still Alive?” award to drive him forward.

This is your basic survival story mixed in with a little revenge story chewed up by a blender and scattered amongst a picturesque backdrop of American nature. The Revenant is unflinching and a little unhinged in its portrayal of man vs. nature as DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass goes up against insurmountable odds just to keep breathing.

I’m not one for Westerns or period pieces, but this is an engrossing little flick. The story, quite honestly, is not that special… it’s DiCaprio’s raw and powerful portrayal of the protagonist that really had me interested in the film. This role could be transformative for our favorite Oscar loser and, hopefully, this movie will break his streak of missing out on the little gold statue.

Of course, if the movie wins for best special effects and Leo loses again for best actor, the bear will have won an award and he won’t have which would be, let’s face it, hilarious.

Leonardo DiCaprio, in all seriousness, makes this movie worth watching. I know I go on and on about him, but I’m just saying it like it is. I had a hard time picturing Leo as a rough and hardy fur trapper, now I’m having difficulty picturing anyone anyone else in the role.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Tom Hardy as the movie’s antagonist, an excellent long-distance foil for DiCaprio and his quest for vengeance. Tom Hardy is like a chameleon, effortlessly metamorphosing into and becoming whoever he needs to. The talent astounds me.

The Revenant is an amazing movie… not exactly something I would fall all over myself to watch more than once, but something that I can appreciate and enjoy nonetheless. This is a movie where the performances elevate it to a height it wouldn’t have been able to attain otherwise.

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Written by Jason Gaston

I'm just a dude. I teach, love movies, I write, I take pictures, and I want to see the world.

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