I was a little disappointed by The Revenant. Due to the major awards attention the film got, as well as the many comments & posts about it I’ve seen over the Internet, my expectations may have been a little high.
The main problems I had with the film are its runtime & its pacing. At a little over 2h30mins, the film is far too long. There isn’t enough story to fill in the time. You could probably cut out about 30mins & have a better film as a result.
Adding to this issue is the pacing. There are 3 or 4 action scenes in the film, these happen at a brisk, exciting pace but everything else is very slow & tedious.
It’s also a bit of a problem when the opening scene of a film this long is also the best scene in the film. There are only 1 or 2 others that come close.
In terms of acting, DiCaprio & Hardy are great. I’m not surprised they got some major attention for their work here. However, DiCaprio has done better (Wolf of Wall Street for example), as has Hardy.
The highlight of the film is the cinematography. The film is gorgeous. Perhaps the only benefit of the runtime & slow pace is that it allows you to take in the great views & artistic compositions of the shots.
On the whole, The Revenant is a decent film. It’s not the director’s best work nor is it the best western to come out in recent years (Tarantino’s 2 westerns as well as the 3:10 to Yuma remake are better). Next week I’m finally going to be watching a film I’ve long been waiting to see, Bone Tomahawk (another western). I’m really hoping I like it & it’ll be interesting to compare that film with this & The Hateful Eight. It seems the western may be making a comeback. Here’s hoping.