What in fucking tarnation is going on? Between The Hateful Eight and The Revenant, it's like high noon in Dodge City at the ol' moving picture house. Wild Westerns are back like a snake-bit donkey kick to the head, which, ironically, would be less painful than having to endure Alejandro "Not So Speedy" Gonzalez Inarritu's sepia-toned survival porn.
You know you're in trouble from the very first scene. Inarritu apparently bought his own press after Birdman and now thinks every shot should be one, long, continuous (or at least continuous-looking) take. So, The Revenant opens with a slow, closeup tracking shot of water. Is it a stream? A crick? A tributary of the mighty Mississip?
It really, truly doesn't matter. Just like the part when Inarritu left the camera rolling on a half Moon seen through gauzy clouds while he went to take a shit. Or when the assistant director brought him 10 hours of low angle shots of light filtering through tall trees and he loved it so much he said, "Fuck it. Let's make this thing two and a half hours long!"
When your entire story consists of "Man is wronged and seeks revenge." you've got to find some way to pad things out, I reckon. Why not with pretentious, Sierra Club up-sucking nature footage?
Huge Ass, I mean, Hugh Glass (Leonardo "Donatello Michelangelo Raphael" DiCaprio) is leading a group of hunter/trapper/fur-mongers through the Montana mountains when he's mauled by a mama grizzly. You know Glass is the Good Guy because he has a half-Indian kid. Just like you know Fitzgerald (Tom "Tea And Biscuits" Hardy) is the bad guy because he actually cares about getting paid for the months of trapping he's done and because he's willing to leave Glass to die rather than risk the lives of the rest of the group.
I guess in olden times the needs of the many didn't, in fact, outweigh the needs of the few.
The rest of The Revenant is The Martian in the Old West mashed up with a vegan's worst nightmares. Glass, or Dances with Gangrene as the Pawnee call him, drags his broken, bleeding ass through the snow for miles. He uses gunpowder to cauterize the gaping hole in his neck. He makes splints and crutches from tree limbs and moss. He tears into a raw fish - skin and bones and all - even though he has a nice fire going 15 feet away. He does the same thing with a bloody buffalo liver a little later on.
And why does Glass do it? Because DiCaprio wants an Oscar more than a horny hillbilly wants into his sexy sister's slippery bits.
Poor Leo. Even the Interwebs mock your Oscar envy. Check out this meme collection at BuzzFeed. Oh you sad, successful, independently wealthy, good-lookin', supermodel-shaggin', Family Ties royalty check-cashin' celebrity icon.
Wait a sec. I think what I meant to say was, "Fuck you DiCaprio, you greedy sumbitch! How much is fucking enough?!"