‘The Revenant’: Film Review

5 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘The Revenant’ review: Leonardo DiCaprio’s out for vengeance in Inarritu epic.

Don’t judge a film by its production problems—a lesson established years ago by James Cameron’s Titanic and reconfirmed now by another big-budget Leonardo DiCaprio project, The Revenant. The question buzzing around your head after seeing The Revenant isn’t “will Leonardo DiCaprio win an Oscar for this?”, but “in the event that he doesn’t, what the hell is it going to take?” In Alejandro González Iñárritu’s astounding new film, DiCaprio puts himself through the wringer.A traditional Old West survival-and-revenge tale assumes the dimensions of a harrowing voyage to the American frontier’s heart of darkness in The Revenant.

Pushing both brutal realism and extravagant visual poetry to the edges of what one customarily finds in mainstream American filmmaking, director/co-writer Alejandro G. Inarritu, and he pushes himself, the audience and an aggrieved 19th-century frontiersman well beyond their usual limits in “The Revenant.” Bleak as hell but considerably more beautiful, this nightmarish plunge into a frigid, forbidding American outback is a movie of pitiless violence, grueling intensity and continually breathtaking imagery, a feat of high-wire filmmaking to surpass even Inarritu and d.p. Iñárritu’s follow-up to his Best Picture-winning Birdman is an old-school western that arrives on Christmas Day upon a wave of ominous press about its torturous production. The film is a raw-boned revenge western in which DiCaprio’s fur trapper, Hugh Glass, hauls himself across thousands of miles of forests and frozen rock with life-threatening wounds, in search of the man who killed his son and left him for dead, half-buried in the iron soil of the Rocky Mountains. Inarritu, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki and a vast team of visual effects wizards have created a sensationally vivid and visceral portrait of human endurance under very nearly intolerable conditions; this is a film that makes you quite glad to have been born in a century with insulation and central heating.

Emmanuel Lubezki’s work on last year’s Oscar-winning “Birdman.” Yet in attempting to merge a Western revenge thriller, a meditative epic in the Terrence Malick mold, and a lost-in-the-wilderness production of near-Herzogian insanity, “The Revenant” increasingly succumbs to the air of grim overdetermination that has marred much of Inarritu’s past work: It’s an imposing vision, to be sure, but also an inflated and emotionally stunted one, despite an anchoring performance of ferocious 200% commitment from Leonardo DiCaprio. Those difficulties reportedly included a budget that spiraled from $95 million to a supposed $165 million; a shoot complicated by Iñárritu’s desire to make the film sequentially and to use only natural light; and incessant weather-related delays that necessitated a relocation from Canada to Argentina, and forced co-star Tom Hardy to drop out of his subsequent role in Suicide Squad.

We see him swirl down ice-cold river rapids, claw his way up and down cliff-faces, shiver in the starlight while the breath on his beard congeals into frost, and devour the still-throbbing liver of a freshly slaughtered bison, still hot and slippery in his hands. Hard to recognize though he may be under so much blood, grime and unwashed mountain-man mane, DiCaprio will boost the commercial prospects of Fox’s not-so-merry Christmas Day release, which will lean heavily on its award-friendly pedigree to overcome audience resistance to its considerable length and extreme carnage. Then, as Leonardo DiCaprio crawls across miles and miles of mighty pretty scenery filmed in Canada, Montana and Argentina, gradually it turns into not much of anything.

It’s a hairy true story, one ripe for the über-masculine film treatment, which is exactly what director Alejandro González Iñárritu has given us in the grueling The Revenant, as much a survival story for the audience as it is for the hero. There is also an astonishing single-take sequence, after which I had to scrape my heart off the roof of my mouth, in which he is mauled – and only mauled, despite a bizarre rumour to the contrary – by a hundred-stone grizzly bear. For a director who normally takes several years between films, Inarritu has remarkably turned around his most ambitious physical production within just one year of his awards-laden Birdman. While the many, many acts of human and animal savagery are doled out judiciously over the 156-minute running time, they’re attenuated to a brutal, can-you-top-this degree, captured in the long, unbroken takes that have become Inarritu and Lubezki’s visual signature (though minus the one-shot digital gimmickry of “Birdman”).

Screenwriter and director Inarritu gave us the 10-ton granite pretensions of “Babel,” “Biutiful” as well as less grandiose (and better) pictures such as his debut feature “Amores Perros” and last year’s Academy Award winner, “Birdman.” He co-wrote this loose adaptation of Michael Punke’s 2002 historical novel “The Revenant” with Mark L. Nineteenth-century fur trapper and frontiersman Hugh Glass, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, encounters some bear cubs in an eerily quiet forest and then hears the snuffly-wet sound of their parent behind him, a grownup grizzly who has gained a broadly correct impression of Glass’s overall intentions.

Even the untutored eye would quickly recognize this as the work of the same key talents; The Revenant may use plenty of cuts and is set nearly entirely outdoors, but the fluid, prowling, sometimes gasp-inducing camera moves, along with the great depth of field, are the same. The ensuing scene is one of horrifyingly primal violence, a brilliantly conceived CGI-reality cluster, during which I clenched into a whimperingly foetal ball so tight that afterwards I practically had to be rolled out of the cinema auditorium.

It’s rough-going, as you might expect, as Glass is badly torn up by that bear (the mauling scene is terrifyingly credible) and is being pursued by angry Ree tribesmen who are searching for a stolen daughter. The immersion and immediacy of that confrontation reminded me of the moment in Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World when moviegoers go to the sensory-enhanced “feelies” and watch a sex scene on a bearskin rug. It’s an especially brutal blow to Glass, who, as seen in surreal flashbacks, already lost his Native American wife to American soldiers, one of whom he killed in order to protect his adolescent offspring. On and on the movie lurches, one harrowing set piece after another, alternating between Glass’s quest for vengeance and the journey his abandoners, played by Tom Hardy and Will Poulter, make to the relative safety of Fort Kiowa. Smith from Michael Punke’s 2002 fact-based novel, which is set in 1823-24 in the territories that now make up the Dakotas, Montana, Wyoming and Nebraska.

While the film never specifies exactly where and when it’s taking place (shooting took place in Canada and Argentina), it faithfully centers around a fictionalized version of Hugh Glass (DiCaprio), a real-life man of the West who works for the Rocky Mountain Fur Co., skillfully guiding beaver trappers deep into hostile terrain. So could I, and I also felt every droplet of bear spittle, every serration of tooth, and I understood what it feels like when parts of your ribcage are exposed to fresh air and light rain. These gorgeous, frigid hellscapes are the perfect setting for Iñárritu’s brand of artsy-male intensity, applying his somber worldview to scenes of exquisite danger and torment. Perhaps in taking on The Revenant, DiCaprio finally broke the glass on the emergency box marked In Case Of No Oscar By 40 – or perhaps it was borne of his genuine desire, as he approaches middle age, to push his craft to the kind of physical and psychological extremes that a younger performer needn’t never concern himself with.

Theirs is a life of hard work, scarce rations and frequent peril, as we witness firsthand when the men are attacked without warning by Arikara warriors. Smith’s script, devoid of the intertwined-strand message-making that plagued the filmmaker’s Babel, proceeds like a single-minded B-picture about one man’s unrelenting quest for the vengeance he craves, and deserves.

Either way, it’s no spoiler to reveal that The Revenant ends with Glass staring directly into the camera – and in that moment, DiCaprio might as well be confidently ushering you into the men’s room with a ruler. The film establishes its stylistic approach immediately in this harrowing early sequence, beginning with a single unbroken shot in which tension mounts by the second, only to be relieved by the arrow that comes hurtling out of nowhere to connect with a man’s throat. That resolutely one-way trajectory makes The Revenant, in a basic sense, a throwback to old school pulp fictions—especially the back-from-the-dead Point Blank and The Limey. Here, sometime around the 1820s, the wilderness is scary and elemental, dotted with haunted souls but otherwise howling with apocalyptic cold and emptiness.

It’s hard to untangle The Revenant’s central performance from the rest of it, because the success of the whole film depends on you buying into its hell-for-leather commitment. On top of this, any temptation to provide the central character with interior monologues to reveal his anguished thoughts and feelings has been resisted; for most of the running time, he is limited to expressing himself via painful grunts and cries and very heavy breathing. As the surviving trappers flee with whatever pelts they can salvage, we feel not just ambushed but surrounded — by the attackers lurking just off screen, by the dense trees looming in Lubezki’s deep-focus compositions, and perhaps most of all by the astonishing sound design, which transforms the music of babbling brooks, rustling trees, thunderous hoofbeats, falling bodies and anguished screams into a wild symphony of woodland chaos.

The movie version of “The Revenant” flings it further into the realm of bloody allegory, where America’s genocidal sins haunt the characters’ every mile. But it’s about power, fear and rage, and this moment, quite as much as the human duplicity that follows, is the driving force for this film’s theme, commoner in the movies than real life: revenge, revenge against men and maybe a kind of revenge against nature. While the director doesn’t complicate his familiar genre tale, he does embellish it in ways that both enhance its visceral thrills, and deepen its themes. The Revenant is certainly one of the most visually striking movies of the year, its eerie beauty whispering with the same stark, primal dread as There Will Be Blood.

A startling early skirmish between the local Pawnee tribe and a contingent of white trappers serves notice as to the level of brutal realism the film intends to deliver; the whoosh and sudden impact of arrows may never have been more vividly rendered, nor perhaps the sense of panic, confusion, horse speed and arbitrariness of who survives and who does not. These sounds will be joined, in due course, by Ryuichi Sakamoto and Alva Noto’s artfully modulated, never-repetitive score, which begins as a series of low, synth-like rumbles that gather melodic force and power as the film progresses. Iñárritu and Lubezki make a horror movie out of America’s beginnings—which, given what all those beginnings did to people, is entirely appropriate. Domhnall Gleeson is Andrew Henry, the head of the fur-trading party for whom Glass works as a scout, while Tom Hardy, deploying a very specific, spidery south Texas accent, is Fitzgerald, the hard-bitten mercenary trapper who betrays Glass when he becomes a burden after that gruelling bear attack. In short, “The Revenant” must be appreciated first and foremost as a sensory and aesthetic marvel, a brutal hymn to the beauty and terror of the natural world that exerts a hypnotic pull from the opening frame.

The duo’s camera begins by gliding in and out of a chaotic battle with fluid ferocity, moving in to close-up and out to grand, expansive panoramas (and back again) with a masterful grasp of spatial dynamics. Elsewhere, Will Poulter impresses as Jim Bridger, a callow youngster who becomes Fitzgerald’s reluctant accomplice, as does Forrest Goodluck as Hawk, Glass’s mixed-race son with his now-dead native American bride. The protagonist of Inarritu’s “Revenant” has a Pawnee son (Forrest Goodluck), whose mother, a casualty of the Indian wars, appears to Glass as a spectral reminder of his losses. Glass has joined other civilian privateers engaged in a US military expedition led by Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) along the Missouri river to establish a lucrative fur-trapping base.

It grimly poeticizes a terrifying time in our history, a war between civilizations—a massacre, really—and against nature. (Also its own kind of massacre.) Seeing Manifest Destiny for all its ugliness, rendered here as enveloping terror and chaos, is instructive. Glass is traveling with his teenage son, Hawk (Forrest Goodluck), a descendant of the Pawnee tribe on his mother’s side, and the two regard each other with an understandably fierce protectiveness.

The trapping expedition’s leader (Domhnall Gleeson, looking ghostly before his time) dispatches two men to bury Glass, who’s not quite dead, and rejoin what’s left of the team after an attack waged by the local Arikara tribe. Glass and the others are set upon by tribesmen-warriors in an electrifying and terrifying sequence, in which warning cries are silenced by the sibilant arrival of an arrow in the throat. In other words, you can just about feel the grit, grime, spittle, blood, and tears coating everyone—and everything—in The Revenant, which conveys precisely what it would be like to exist in Glass’s weathered shoes.

Yes, we are rooting for this white frontiersman to live, to get his deserved revenge, but we also realize that this drama of grit, determination, and reprisal is taking place on someone else’s stage, that the collateral damage in this story constitutes a mind-boggling atrocity. What if he or his son sell out their whereabouts to the hostile Arikara and Pawnee? “All I’m saying is a savage is a savage,” he grunts after one vituperative rant: well, quite.

Their ranks decimated and with winter closing in, the white men decide to head back, which brings on the scene, 25 minutes in, that no one who sees it will soon forget (and which will certainly pass through the mind of any viewer who in future takes a hike through bear country). Despite its A-list pedigree, Iñárritu’s film is an out-there experiential work that situates viewers in a very particular time and place, fighting through the elemental forces—external and internal—preying upon Glass. The injured Glass’ reluctant guardians are a good young man (Will Poulter as the real-life Jim Bridger) and a bad older one (Tom Hardy as John Fitzgerald, another factual personage).

Once left alone with their charge, they leave Glass to die in agony and figure on returning to base to pick up their extra pay with a fine tale about giving him a Christian burial. In that regard, it has something in common with Gus Van Sant’s Gerry and Elephant, experimental indies that articulated unspoken ideas through atmospherics. Iñárritu wants to see how many torments he can put Glass through, a Passion of the Christ–style litany of abuse that, as it mounts, begins to seem like braggadocio. The man injures her with the one shot he gets off from his long-barreled rifle but then can do nothing as the incensed creature slaps, claws, bites, rips open and steps on him with her giant paws before retreating.

And so there’s trouble afoot even before Glass ventures out alone and is mauled by a mammoth grizzly bear, in what must surely be the most squirmingly visceral scene of an animal attack on a human committed to the screen, all the more realistic and protracted for being shot in a single take. Beyond the sheer terror she provokes, the bear’s behavior is fascinating to observe; for a good while, she sniffs and assesses her adversary closely, both in the manner of a cook judging the seasoning of a dish and a kid deciding about whether to play with a toy any longer.

Glass kills the bear, but not before it all but kills him, leaving horrific wounds in his chest, back and throat, and rendering him unable to speak or walk. The arduous task of carrying the injured party over the rocky and eventually snowy terrain soon threatens the party’s safety, and it’s decided that Glass will be left behind with Hawk, Fitzgerald and a young man, Jim Bridger (Will Poulter, excellent), so that he can receive a proper burial when he inevitably dies.

Yes, the gore is unflinching and realistic, but it tends to overwhelm, or outright preclude, any deeper thought, any more complex idea than “Pain is real.” Iñárritu is too enamored of all this macho vérité—so much so that by the film’s overly drawn-out finale, The Revenant has slogged perilously close to silliness. Previous renditions of such inter-species hand-to-hand battles have invariably been conveyed via a flurry of quick cutting to convey violent action while concealing the lack of real contact.

Things don’t go according to plan, to say the least, and the full, murderous measure of Fitzgerald’s ruthlessness is revealed as he kills Hawk and leaves Glass for dead, with the pitiably naive Bridger in tow. Be it the up-close-and-frighteningly-personal bear attack that leaves Glass at death’s door, a sequence where Glass takes shelter from a storm by disemboweling a dead horse and climbing inside its hollow body cavity, or a magnificent flight from Native American attackers in which the camera mounts up alongside Glass on horseback, and then hovers over the gorge he plummets off of, the film captures the harsh, unforgiving exquisiteness of the untamed American wild. His recent films have the lapel-grabbing, has-to-be-seen-to-be-believed allure of a great blockbuster, thanks to the sheer swagger and potency of their craftsmanship – whether it’s Birdman’s sustained single-take trickery and central comeback performance of a lifetime, or The Revenant’s rapturously beautiful endurance test.

Before long the film’s conception of Glass as invincible, enlightened white man, in tune with the land being stolen and ravaged by his fellow plunderers, turns “The Revenant” into a travelogue with emblems rather than characters. It also, crucially, gets at the grueling nature of survival: How persevering requires suffering; how physical pain can be dwarfed (and negated) by emotional agony; and how God cares little for pleas of help and salvation, if He even exists at all (other than in the next morsel of meat tasted by a famished tongue). Iñárritu has never been a subtle filmmaker, and, Birdman’s bitter comedy aside, he tends toward the overserious. (Even that film was glazed with a layer of faux profundity.) The Revenant wields a blunt, rather obvious philosophy—at one point we even see a sign reading, in French, “We are all wild.” O.K.! Iñárritu trafficks in what the filmmaker and critic Mark Cousins identified as “want see” – a desire to encounter outrageous places and events in pupil-widening close-up.

Since his character can barely talk — and has almost no one to talk to — DiCaprio must convey Glass’ interior journey almost entirely through grunts, wheezes and sharp, pained exhalations of breath (often misting up the camera in poetic closeups). Many have said the same about Terrence Malick’s dreamy visions of a lost America, especially “The New World.” Malick is a poet; Inarritu’s more of an entrails guy. The images that the movie conjures are ones of staggering, crystalline beauty: gasp-inducing landscapes and beautifully wrought closeups, such as the leaves in bulbous freezing mounds, and a tiny crescent moon, all unsentimentally rendered.

Often he does this while dragging his clawed and battered body over rocks and soil — a preferrable method of transport, really, to being washed downstream by a turbulent river, or vaulted off a cliff on the back of a horse. The last words Glass’s wife said to him before she died were “Keep breathing,” and it’s a command the man struggles to obey even when no one expects him to live.

Inarritu’s film is worth seeing, on balance, largely for Lubezki’s contributions, though it has many other fine elements, notably a subtly powerful musical score by Bryce Dessner, Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Poignantly, he mimes shooting distant moose with a tree branch instead of a rifle, and when he suddenly comes across a vast plain full of bison, it’s unclear for a second if he is imagining things.

Great characters in revenge movies have been built on less—what do we really know about John Wick beyond his love of puppies?—but The Revenant seems to want to say something about humanity, without giving its humans much to work with beyond physical struggle. But after a couple of days, the duplicitous Fitzgerald all but buries Glass alive and abandons him as winter begins to close in, eventually lying to Henry that Glass died. Safarian’s “Man in the Wilderness” (1971), which starred Richard Harris as Glass, Inarritu’s film deviates enough from Punke’s novel to have warranted a “based in part” credit, and several of the changes involve the various indigenous characters hovering on the periphery of the drama — including Hikuc (Navajo actor Arthur Redcloud), a traveler who comes to Glass’ aid, and Elk Dog (Duane Howard), an Arikara warrior trying to track down his daughter, Powaqa (Melaw Nakehk’o), who has been captured by a band of French trappers. There was, in fact, a 1971 film based on Glass’ life and times: The Richard Harris vehicle “Man in the Wilderness,” which got to the bear mauling less than two minutes after the opening credits. Maybe out there in the early American wild, men really were reducible to such basic terms—good men, bad men, alive men, dead men—but the film’s monolithic ideology can’t really sustain a meditative, nearly three-hour saga.

Glass’ struggle to survive occupies the core of the story and it’s compelling, harrowing, sometimes challenging ordeal to behold, something beyond the reach of most mortals. But the most significant alteration here is the wholesale invention of Hawk — a touch that aims to humanize Glass, nudge him closer to the right side of history, and instill in him an even more primal hunger for revenge.

Much hay will be made about The Revenant’s white-knuckle gruesomeness, and I suspect many viewers will take pleasure in feeling ragged but a little tougher for having sat through this slow, torturous adventure. Yet through no fault of DiCaprio’s or Goodluck’s, the father-son relationship never develops sufficient emotional conviction to achieve the desired impact; it’s immediately clear that Hawk exists solely so he can die and, as in any melodrama pivoting on the loss of a child, provide an extra twist of the emotional knife. In Punke’s novel, Glass’ grueling trek wears him down to a nub, living only for “the full carnal pleasure of revenge,” though his conscience saves him in the nick of time. There is arguably something of Altman in the wintry frontier terrain and certainly a Malickian weightlessness in some of Glass’s dreams of his wife.

Which, I think, is the intended effect. (Imagine how tough everyone feels for making it.) I don’t think anyone will leave the theater feeling terribly enlightened—not about man’s inhumanity to man, not about the dark mechanics of Western expansion, not about an incremental genocide that blights any rational view of American history. Here and there, Inarritu employs ghostly flashbacks and hallucinations to convey Glass’ love for Hawk and his Pawnee mother, but these visions feel like spectral banalities — and a reminder, in some respects, of the communing-with-the-dead antihero of “Biutiful.” While “The Revenant” is many cuts above that career nadir, it does mark the director’s return to the same glum mood of near-cosmic despair (also apparent in “21 Grams” and “Babel”) after his rare foray into cynical showbiz comedy with “Birdman.” In all these films, the virtuosity of the storytelling can’t quite disguise a leadenness and lack of modulation that suggest Inarritu’s chief talent is for bludgeoning his audience — sometimes artfully, sometimes merely artily — into submission. But what is so distinctive about this Iñárritu picture is its unitary control and its fluency: no matter how extended, the film’s tense story is under the director’s complete control and he unspools great meandering, bravura travelling shots to tell it: not dissimilar, in some ways, to his previous picture, Birdman. But here and elsewhere, Lubezki’s camera, with its creeping, darting movements and stealthy 360-degree turns, doesn’t observe the action so much as instigate it. But his deceptions know no limits and he makes his escape, which obliges Glass to set out once again in attempt to achieve revenge and justice in an elaborate and gory Western mano a mano.

The very different settings may disguise the fact, but the recent film The Revenant actually resembles a great deal is Gravity, the outer space smash directed by Inarritu’s friend and colleague Alfonso Cuaron. And at every step, the grueling intensity of the performances suggest a behind-the-scenes experience that couldn’t have been much less arduous than the characters’ on-screen ordeal. Both are solitary survival stories set in deeply inhospitable environments where human beings cannot survive without the aid of man-made equipment, not to mention uncanny resourcefulness. He has another excellent on-screen opponent in Gleeson (having quite a year with “Ex Machina,” “Brooklyn” and the forthcoming “Star Wars: The Force Awakens”), cast very effectively against type as a righteous man who takes Glass’ mistreatment as a personal insult. Obscured by heavy animal skins, a scruffy beard and even longer hair, DiCaprio perseveres with a deeply committed characterization that embodies reserves of strength, resilience, imagination, fortitude and righteousness, all attributes required for long-term survival in the earliest days on the North American frontier.

And Howard makes a fleeting impression as the Arikara hunter who emerges every now and then to assert the presence of his people in a movie that is ultimately not a tale of an indigenous tragedy, but of a white man’s retribution. The rest grows smaller, with the script’s self-conscious deeper meanings either layered on top, like pelts, or — more successfully — left to Luzbeki’s meticulous images of a sun-dappled 19th century Eden now home to one too many Wal-Mart stores. Sporting a bizarre accent that could be described as pre-hillbilly specked with traces of indeterminate lower-class 19th century urban, the equally disheveled-looking Hardy creates a genuinely disturbing character whose primary trait is untrustworthiness on a psychotic level.

Perhaps the most useful comparison in that respect is with “The New World,” Malick’s 2005 film about the initially charmed, ultimately tragic first encounter between the Jamestown settlers and the Native American tribes whose way of life they so drastically upended. (Both films were shot by Lubezki and feature the same ace production designer, Jack Fisk.) Those relations have soured irretrievably by the time Inarritu’s movie picks up roughly two centuries later, when the scourge of American imperialism has long since bloodied and corrupted this once-Edenic paradise. The title of “The Revenant” aims to give this renascent avenger a spiritual dimension, but in aiming to steer his dark, fatalistic vision toward something genuinely contemplative and cathartic, Inarritu has managed to appropriate the beauty of Malick’s filmmaking but none of its sublimity — another word for which might be humility. A 20th Century Fox release of a Regency Enterprises presentation, in association with Ratpac Entertainment, of a New Regency/Anonymous Content/M Prods./Appian Way production. The director presumably could have chosen alternate takes but decided to use these; it’s difficult to think of other examples of this happening in a major Hollywood feature.

Then, at a very key moment, DiCaprio looks right into the lens, a move that throws you for a split-second but then achieves the greater effect of establishing a more intense relationship with the suffering Glass has endured. Lubezki’s camera wizardry has been duly noted and rewarded for years and his extraordinary work here under hugely difficult conditions will only add to his laurels. It has been noted before, but The Revenant indicates, more than any film Lubezki has shot, the influence of the Russian team of director Mikhail Kalatozov and cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky on his work. The Cranes Are Flying and I Am Cuba are well known in the United States, Letter Never Sent (1959) less so, but it’s the latter film’s amazing long, often hand-held takes moving through dense brush, forests (at one point on fire), lakes, downpours and snow storms that clearly look like early models for what Lubezki achieves and, admittedly, surpasses here.

Cast: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tom Hardy, Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Forrest Goodluck, Duane Howard, Arthur Redcloud, Melaw Nakehk’o, Grace Dove, Lucas Haas, Paul Anderson, Kristofer Joner David Benediktson; visual effects supervisor, Rich McBride; visual effects producer, Ivy Agregan; visual effects, Industrial Light & Magic, Image Engine, MPC, Cinesite, Technicolor VFX, Secret Lab, Green Light, Soho, Vitality Visual Effects; stunt coordinators, Doug Coleman, Scott Ateah, Brian Machleit, Mark Vanselow; fight coordinator, Adam Hart; assistant director, Scott Robertson; casting, Francine Maisler.

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