Lion of the Blogosphere

The Revenant review

My one paragraph take on the movie: great cinematography, great shots of the winter wilderness, savage Indian attacks, never has the world so realistically seen a man mauled by a bear (thanks to CGI), but did it have to be so damn long? Isn’t two hours of bearded men wandering around in wilderness enough?

They say that the Oscars are “too white”, however this movie, nominated for Best Picture, was directed by a Mexican, Alejandro González Iñárritu. He’s white-looking, tall, and distinguished. See photos at Google Images. He looks nothing like the Mexican guys at the Korean-owned bodega across the street who make me bacon egg and cheese sandwiches. (I have nothing against the Mexican guys at the bodega, they are always very pleasant, but I can’t imagine them directing a movie.)

Sorry, the rest of the review has spoilers.

Hawk: Hugh Glass’ half-Indian son Hawk felt very out of place, like it was something added to appease modern SWPL sensibilities and not something that would realistically be part of the story. And indeed, doing some internet research I discovered that neither the historical Hugh Glass nor the Hugh Glass in the novel by Michael Punke had a half-Indian son. Because the movie is mostly about Hugh Glass surviving alone in the wilderness, the half-Indian son has nothing to do in the movie besides die, giving Hugh a reason for wanting revenge. Although the novel may have been about revenge, the movie was about a guy trying not to die, until the very end when we discover that there’s also a revenge element.

Hawk had even less of a role in the movie than the black guy in the most recent Star Wars movie. And in another connection to Star Wars, in the scene in which Hugh gets naked and gets inside a horse to keep warm, my immediate thought was “he must have learned that trick from The Empire Strikes Back.”

Hawk’s purpose in the movie is to (1) die; and (2) act as a litmus test for who’s good and who’s bad. Those who hate him for being an Indian (John Fitzgerald) are bad, and those who accept him (Hugh Glass, the Captain Andrew Henry and the young guy Bridger) are good.

Magical Native American trope: The movie unoriginally uses the very common Magical Native American trope. Throughout the movie, Hugh Glass has mystical visions of his son and Indian wife. I couldn’t make any sense of them. Whenever the movie cut to one of these mystical visions, my thought was when can this end so we can go back to real movie?

Leonardo DiCaprio: Whenever I think of Leonardo DiCaprio I think of the kid in the movie Titanic, so it’s hard to think of the guy playing the grizzly middle-aged mountain man Hugh Glass as the same person.

Could Hugh Glass really have survived all that? The original legend is that Hugh Glass survived a bear attack in which everyone who was with him thought he had no chance of making it. So of course, that had to be in the movie. But in order to make the movie more exciting, Hugh also survives tumbling over waterfalls in an icy-cold river, and riding his horse off of a ridiculously high cliff. The movie thus becomes a popcorn action flick instead of a realistic movie of survival.

Indians and French subplot: The movie has a subplot about Indians and Frenchmen which could have easily been left out to make the movie shorter, except that it was added in order to give the savage Indians a justification for their savagery and show that the real bad guys where the white Frenchmen.

Early 1800s mountain-man accents: I couldn’t understand half of the dialog because they were mumbling in early 1800s mountain-man accents. As if anyone knows what mountain-men in the early 1800s sounded like.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

January 29, 2016 at 11:29 AM

Posted in Movies

27 Responses

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  1. The truth is, the Mexican guys who make your breakfast are worth a helluva lot more than Inarritu and Dicaprio.


    January 29, 2016 at 11:34 AM

  2. DiCaprio was pretty convincingly tough in The Departed. That’s the only movie I’ve ever liked him in. Putting him next to Tom Hardy–who’s a far superior actor–was a big mistake. But the problem with Hardy’s character was that the accent he used was very similar to the one he used in Lawless. In Lawless he played a likable and funny, albeit tough, character so it was hard for me to see him as the bad guy he was supposed to be.

    John Hillcoat directed Lawless and he was originally attached to The Revenant. I think it could have been a much better movie if he’d directed and of course if he’d directed, Inarritu wouldn’t have rewritten the screenplay and added a bunch of annoying crap like those mystical visions.

    Oh yeah, and the dead Indian kid was too old. I couldn’t tell if he was 15 or 25.


    January 29, 2016 at 11:52 AM

    • That’s true: di Caprio was by far the best thing about Django.

      The key to getting a successful performance out of di Caprio is to not cast him as a grizzled mountain man.

      Greg Pandatshang

      January 29, 2016 at 2:27 PM

    • So like a Syrian refugee?

      Half Canadian

      January 29, 2016 at 3:36 PM

  3. I don’t know the percentages but there are plenty of guys who look like Inarritu hanging drywall and working in restaurants. He’s the darkest of the big three mexican directors working in hollywood (Inarritu, Cuaron and del Toro).

    Lloyd Llewellyn

    January 29, 2016 at 11:55 AM

    • He’s kind of swarthy, but still appears to be of Spanish stock (Spanish as in Spain); indeed, Inarritu is a Basque surname.
      I think what Lion meant was that he’s not mestizo or indigenous.


      January 29, 2016 at 4:00 PM

      • So people with hispanic surnames can be almost any racial combination but people with basque ones are all 100% pure basque? Come on.

        When someone that looks like Inarritu is a high achiever people talk about how white he looks but everyone else with his skin tone is a mestizo.

        Lloyd Llewellyn

        January 31, 2016 at 8:38 AM

      • “When someone that looks like Inarritu is a high achiever people talk about how white he looks”

        It’s mostly people at Steve Sailer’s blog who talk about that. The average SWPL doesn’t talk about that.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        January 31, 2016 at 9:47 AM

    • Del Toro is from PR.

      CA Spears

      January 31, 2016 at 6:47 PM

  4. DiCaprio is a moron. But the guy can act. He’s been on a role lately. He was terrific in The Great Gatsby, the kill white people movie, Wolf of Wall Street and I thought he was good in the Revenant too, though I enjoyed Tom Hardy more (Tom Hardy, another guy who can really act — see Bronson)

    Andrew E.

    January 29, 2016 at 12:22 PM

  5. Every time Lion watches a movie that contains so much as a gay kiss we have to hear how “disgusting” he found it. But a man getting mauled by a bear in spectacular high-definition? A guy climbing inside a horse’s entrails? Now THAT’S entertainment!

    Hollywood’s sick obsession with pornographic gore is what I find repulsive.


    January 29, 2016 at 12:46 PM

    • I’m tempted to watch just for the bear mauling. My pop fought a bear and lived, said he had no concept of fear before that.

      Bryan Bell

      January 29, 2016 at 1:27 PM

      • Yes, watch it just for the bear mauling scene. There’s one other scene that makes beautiful use of special effects, but it only lasts for a second and doesn’t make any sense.

        Greg Pandatshang

        January 29, 2016 at 2:29 PM

  6. Posh Mexicans are often full-blooded European.(Guillermo del Toro looks like Michael Moore’s long-lost brother) They lack the Native American blood that gives a typically Mestizo population its look and character. Furthermore, Inarritu sounds like a Basque surname, they’re a different group from other Spaniards. Perhaps that also accounts for his outlier appearance.

    Giovanni Dannato

    January 29, 2016 at 12:52 PM

    • Inarritu is most certainly a Basque name


      January 29, 2016 at 4:01 PM

    • Posh Hispanics are either full blooded White or at least Castizo with native ancestry. The Dominican Republic is basically a land of mulattos, with a White Hispanic/Castizo elite.

      Hugo Chavez was the only Latin American politician with visible Sub Saharan traces.


      January 30, 2016 at 11:12 AM

  7. They say that the Oscars are “too white”, however this movie, nominated for Best Picture, was directed by a Mexican, Alejandro González Iñárritu. He’s white-looking, tall, and distinguished. See photos at Google Images.

    He looks somewhat mixed and like a browner Russell Brand. Greasy looking like Brand.

    Should be considered “non White” and diverse by Hollywood standards but not because pissed off blacks don’t consider him one of them so he doesn’t count.


    January 29, 2016 at 1:11 PM

  8. The people renting movies from Quentin Tarantino probably couldn’t picture him directing either.


    January 29, 2016 at 1:36 PM

  9. They say that the Oscars are “too white”, however this movie, nominated for Best Picture, was directed by a Mexican, Alejandro González Iñárritu. He’s white-looking, tall, and distinguished. See photos at Google Images.

    If I saw this guy on the street, I wouldn’t think he was white at all. I would just assume he was Hispanic or Middle Eastern or something. Presumably he’s not mestizo or anything, but he doesn’t look very white.


    January 29, 2016 at 3:25 PM

  10. Yeah Lion, no. Too White means not enough blacks. Its a shakedown thing. Gibs me dat Oscar or we’ll boycott Chris Rock. It doesn’t matter if you had a movie with nothing but Japanese or a Mexican Lucha Libre hero picture in Spanish. Only black threats matter.

    Joshua Sinistar

    January 29, 2016 at 5:00 PM

  11. Is the book (The Revenant) worth reading?


    January 29, 2016 at 6:37 PM

    • The book is very, very good. If you read it before the movie, resign yourself to a third-rate edition of the book.

      There are a couple of glaring Hollywoodizations that make you realize just how difficult it is to transcribe a novel’s depth to the big screen. Ain’t gonna happen.

      Socially Extinct

      January 30, 2016 at 12:00 AM

  12. SJW Inarritu claims the movie is designed to demonstrate the evils of free-market capitalism.


    January 30, 2016 at 3:41 PM

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