Cast strong, scenery grand in 'The Revenant'

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Revenant"<BR>(Twentieth Century Fox)

Leonardo DiCaprio in "The Revenant"<BR>(Twentieth Century Fox)

Alejandro Gonzalez Iñárritu's "The Revenant" takes us back to a time when blade, bullet, claw and bow ruled the frontier and where survival depended on not only your wit but how far you were willing to go to live.

A tale about fur trappers in the 1800s, this film follows tracker Hugh Glass (Leonardo DiCaprio) who, after being left for dead and witnessing the murder of his son by fellow trapper Fitzgerald (Tom Hardy), goes on a quest for revenge. Doing so means Glass will have to survive beasts, the elements and other challenges in order to hunt down Fitzgerald.

This film is easily one of the best looking I've seen in a while. The beauty and brutality of nature is in many ways the focal point for much of the cinematography. Action scenes, while rare, pull no punches as every attack you see on screen - either by human or animal - is visceral and gory. Needless to say, this kind of film is not for those who get squeamish at the sight of blood.

The two main leads are both heavyweight actors known for their onscreen talent and I'm happy to say that this doesn't change in this film. In fact, the acting from everyone on screen is solid and on point, giving the film a much required realistic feel in order for this story to work.

That said, one of the drawbacks is that we don't really get a great sense of who some of these people are, mostly in terms of DiCaprio's character. Much of the film is Leonardo DiCaprio trying to survive alone in the wilderness, and as such he has the least amount of dialog of anyone in the movie. So beyond being the "guy who wants revenge for his murdered son," there's not enough of him for a viewer to connect with.

Another drawback is the film is a little over two and half hours long. While some films can get away with this kind of length without the viewer becoming aware of that fact, with this movie you do start to notice. With many of the scenes being wide, grand shots of wild vistas you may start to get bored around the halfway point as, as previously stated, just watching Leonardo DiCaprio make camp and sleep next to a campfire for the tenth time does start to get a little repetitive.

But for most movie going audiences, I believe you'll have no trouble staying focused on the story at hand.

Oscar baiting aside, this film definitely holds its own. The solid cast brought its "A" game, making this one film you need to check out. Four out of four miners.