Leonardo Di Caprio gets knocked down (and gets back up again) dozens of times with an epic performance in a film that is violently thoughtful.

Be it the various production problems or Di Caprios supposed certainty at winning his elusive Oscar, Revenant is a film that has been talked out about to an extreme amount. The problem is all the chatter is for the wrong reasons; and it’s only after you set all that aside that you can enjoy the film.

The film looks wonderful with every frame giving the audience some sort of natural beauty to glimpse at. It is truly astounding from a cinematographic standpoint and worth a watch just for the camerawork.

Following Hugh Glass (Di Caprio) who is left for dead after being mauled by a bear; the film is a revenge tale as Glass fights off certain death and travels miles gravely injured in order to get revenge on Fitzgerald (the southern-accented Tom Hardy) for killing his son.

In order to reach Fitzgerald he must cross hundreds of miles of snowy mountains but Di Caprio is not one to let a cut throat or falling off a cliff get in the way of his OSCAR dream Glass is not one to let a cut throat or falling off a cliff get in the way of his revenge and perseveres to an extreme. The will of the character, the actor and the performance is startlingly good.

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The problem is that Di Caprio is so obviously Di Caprio throughout that it’s distracting. You never have a chance to relate to the character because of the pre-conceptions with the actor; and with little to do other than grunt, groan and sleep in a horse carcass it is easy to see why. The commitment to the role is never in doubt; the problem is the role itself. It is hard for any actor to show themselves in all their glory when the majority of the role is to be in extreme pain. The film even ends with Di Caprio staring straight into the camera in what can only be seen as a plea to the academy voters – and the thing is it could work.

The violent scenes are perfectly directed, as they do not fall into the easy trap of becoming either horrific or comedic – instead they remain gory and cringeworthy. You are never too put off by them, even if the middle portion of the film that is just a series of set pieces aiming to shock an audience.

The final act of the film is wonderful as the tension mounting throughout the journey comes to a head in a beautiful cat and mouse moment between Di Caprio and Hardy. It is amazingly choreographed and chilling to watch.

Revenant is a film that does what you expect, you see Di Caprio fight a bear and then you see him suffer. You see Tom Hardy put on another ridiculous accent. It is enjoyable without offering new. A film that is trying too hard to win awards… but will probably win them anyway.

7/10