Alejandro González Iñárritu blew me away last year with his Academy Award winner for Best Picture, Birdman. Needless to say, The Revenant had some big shoes to fill. The question is, did it square up to its predecessor?
The answer is a big, fat no.
While The Revenant is certainly a comprehensible piece of filmmaking, genuinely speaking, it is nothing more than an acting canvas for Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hardy to experiment. They are, predictably, both outstanding — particularly Hardy, who plays the ‘Sergeant Barnes-esque’ John Fitzgerald, opposite DiCaprio’s Hugh Glass. Unfortunately acting can only take you so far.
Iñárritu has saddled us with a bloated, Gibson-stylized knockoff that offers little of interest. Look for nominations for Hardy and possibly DiCaprio come time Oscar season, but skip the film.