Monday, May 2, 2016

O.H.M. Movie Review: The Revenant

Disclaimer/Spoiler Alert: I didn't technically watch this entire movie, because I fell asleep a third of the way through. But don't worry: that won't stop me from reviewing it. That's because like everyone else on the internet, I feel uniquely qualified to opine at length on any subject with absolute authority, despite lacking even the most basic degree of knowledge required to do so in any meaningful way.

On that note, 70 minutes was all I needed to get the gist of this film, with Wikipedia and Geoff (who managed to stay awake) filling in the blanks for me. 

Essentially this movie is 157 minutes of pretty-boy Hollywood A-Lister Leonardo DiCaprio getting his ass kicked from here into next Tuesday by Mother Nature. And that alone makes it worth your while.

It's 1823 and DiCaprio is guiding a party of fur trappers through the territories now known as Montana and the Dakotas, when his camp is ambushed by a hostile Arikara war party who's trying to jack their beaver pelts. While standing sentinel in the woods, DiCaprio gets mauled by a grizzly bear sow. He then fights his way back from being tore up from the floor up in order to exact revenge on the redneck dickhead who killed his son and left him for dead.

Four numbers factored into my decision to (attempt to) watch my first full-length feature film in years devoid of Minions or some other Disney-Pixar CGI character: 157 minutes, 8:30 p.m., $6, and three Oscars.

I'm not sure what made me think I'd be able to stay awake until 11:00 p.m. watching a 2.5 hour period piece, but I'd hoped that paying $6 for the 3-Oscar privilege might be sufficient to do the job. I was wrong, and I think I drifted off for good right around the time Leo rode his horse straight off a cliff.

Still, I got what I paid for, because all I really wanted to see was the infamous bear mauling scene, which mercifully took place within the first 20 minutes of the movie. 

If you've lived in Alaska for any amount of time, you or someone you know has had a too-close-for-comfort encounter with a black bear, grizzly bear, or (far less commonly), a polar bear. So I'm pretty sure Alaskans in particular would take a special interest in this scene. 

First you see the cubs, which is always a bad sign. (Alaskans be like . . . oh shit, not CUBS!!) Then a very realistic, 500 lb animatronic mama griz (think Jaws in griz form) comes charging out of the woods at 70 mph and tosses Leo around like a rag doll for a full five minutes. Not only that, but she comes back for him TWICE, once after being shot and wounded. (Alaskans be like . . . SHOOT TO KILL, bitch!)

Mama Griz claws Leo, drools on him, steps on him, stomps on his head, slashes and bites him, and generally straight fucks him UP while panting in his face. But instead of playing dead in the fetal position and covering your neck like you're supposed to do when a mama griz goes on the offense over her cubs, Leo screams and fights in full hand-to-paw combat with his ursine enemy until both roll down a hill. (Alaskans be like . . . cover your neck and play dead, COVER YOUR FUCKING NECK AND PLAY DEAD!), and Mama Griz dies on top of him until his peeps find him hanging onto life by a thread.

For any Alaskan who has ever been mauled by a bear, this scene is certain to trigger PTSD. For any other Alaskan yet to be so unlucky, it's certain to trigger Pre-TSD, better known as "bearanoia." And for any Alaskan outdoorspeople and/or bear biologists, it's certain to trigger a critique of What-Not-to-Do-When-Charged-by-a-Mother-Sow-Griz-Defending-Her-Cubs.

The rest of the movie (what I saw of it anyway), is one horribly uncomfortable looking experience after the next set in the sticks of the American Mountain West: falling into freezing cold rapids and nearly drowning after being chucked over a waterfall while wearing a bear pelt, rags, and stiff leather boots; getting shot at with a bow and arrow; cauterizing a bleeding neck wound (see above re: covering the neck) with fire started via a flint spark and hay; watching helplessly from a makeshift stretcher as your only child is murdered by a traitor; suffering from a bacterial infection that can be cured only by maggots; and, as I mentioned, riding a horse off a cliff.

Spoiler Alert: The main plot point I needed to know after making it through minutes 1-70 of The Revenant was whether Leo got the jump on the asshole who abandoned him in his time of need and killed his son, and I found out later that he did. This movie was worth $6 for the bear mauling scene alone. It would have been way better, though, if Leo had been playing himself. The Wolf of Wall Street and that show biz kid from Growing Pains getting mauled by a mama griz for a full five minutes while doing everything you should never, ever do while being mauled by a mama griz? 

Now that I would pay up to $12 to see at any hour of the day or night.


  1. Honorable OHM...
    I haven't read the entire post, but I feel the disclaimer " I am uniquely qualified to opine at length on any subject with absolute authority, despite lacking even the most basic degree of knowledge required to do so in any meaningful way," would be of great value if I should ever wish to offer an opinion. Is it in the public domain?

    1. Haha, of course. Only if you cite to me though! lol ;)

    2. Mess, One H., "O.H.M Movie Review: Revenant," May 2, 2016.


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