Film Review: The Revenant (2015)

Updated: Jul 7, 2018



By HuWhite Lion


When The Revenant came out back in 2015, I was already done with Hollywood. I had long since come to the conclusion that Hollywood was horribly out of touch with middle America and whether out of incompetence, disdain or both, they no longer cared to tell stories that a White man like myself could relate to. However, when I heard the story that the film is based on, I was definitely intrigued. I had to look it up.


Source: HughGlass.org


The story goes that in 1823 a Scotch-Irish fur-trapper named Hugh Glass was traveling with a team up the Missouri and Grand Rivers in South Dakota when he was attacked by a grizzly bear. The team managed to kill the grizzly bear, but Glass was badly mauled in the process. The men couldn’t carry him and given that winter was coming, they couldn’t afford to wait around for him to die. The group paid two of the men to stay behind and give him a proper burial once he passed on, but he kept clinging to life. After five days, the two men abandoned Glass and took all of his belongings. When they caught up with the others, the two men informed the group that Glass had died. Glass, furious at being abandoned and with an unrelenting will to live, went on a legendary journey to catch up with the men that abandoned him. After nine months and many side adventures and setbacks, Glass eventually caught up with the two men and essentially did… well… nothing. The true story is a bit anti-climactic in that this harrowing journey basically took the piss out of him so that by the time he caught up with them, he was over it. But the tale of his journey is still worthy of legend and rife with potential for a great film.


The film is based on a book by a former Democrat DC lawyer named Michael Punke. Apparently, Punke saw a few lines about the story in a history text and was inspired to write a novel based on it called The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge (2002). From the overview of Punke’s telling of the story, it appears that the major POZ in the film doesn’t come from the novel but from the screenwriters Alejandro González Iñárritu and Mark L. Smith. Alejandro González Iñárritu is also the director.


As one would expect with modern day Hollywood, the screenwriters took quite a bit of liberty with the story to push a political agenda. In the film, Glass has a half Indian son named Hawk who is traveling with him. They take every chance they can get to display how mean the White men are to the half Indian. There is even a point when Hawk is brought to tears because his feels have been hurt.


I know that leftists can’t quite grasp this, but it seems to me that this would be incredibly insulting to Indian’s given that many of them were fierce warriors who did not have their feefees hurt so easily. Also, I doubt many fur trappers at the time had the energy or will for personal insults and even if they did, it’s likely that they were lost in translation.

After Glass is attacked by the bear in the film, two men are paid by the group to stay behind as in the true story and the novel. One of the men, Fitzgerald (who is played by Tom Hardy), is by far the most interesting and realistic character in the film. Where the film departs from the true story and novel is that Glass’s completely made up half Indian son Hawk also stays behind. From the grizzly attack on, Hardy’s character Fitzgerald suggests that they put Glass out of his misery. The rest of the men (especially his son, of course) refuse to do this.

After Fitzgerald, the other man (Bridger) and Glass’s son Hawk have been waiting for days for Glass to die, Fitzgerald gets a moment alone with Glass and tells him that he’s willing to put him out of his misery. In one of the most compelling scenes of the film, given that Glass can’t speak, Fitzgerald tells Glass that if he wants him to kill him, to just blink. This was cruel and obviously intended to establish Fitzgerald as the villain of the film, but I still couldn’t help identifying more with Fitzgerald than any of the other characters. He was the only sensible White man in the bunch. Finally, Glass had to blink and the way it was acted, it seemed as though he had genuinely accepted and resigned himself to the idea that this was the best course of action. Fitzgerald begins to smother Glass and then Hawk runs in and interrupts and starts yelling and ranting. Fitzgerald calmly tries to explain to him that this is the best course for everybody and that he has to shut up because they are in the territory of the hostile Ree tribe. Fitzgerald keeps trying to tell him to shut up, but he keeps acting like an idiot so Fitzgerald stabs him to death. Fitzgerald hides Hawk’s body and when Bridger comes back he convinces him that they can’t afford to wait any longer and that they need to leave Glass for dead.


So, in a twist that could only be concocted in Commywood, a hate crime involving the murder of a dangerously stupid half Indian is the driving force in this tale of revenge about fur-trappers from 1820s America. Jesus. Fur-Trapping. Christ.


I enjoy a good survival movie and The Revenant has many excellent survival sequences. However, with a running time of 2 hours and 36 minutes, it gets very repetitive. They continuously revisit the humble, dindu savage/mustache-twirling, evil, White man routine from multiple angles with multiple characters. Some of the positives: The cinematography is beautiful (although that would be hard to screw up with that budget and those locations) and I really like the all-natural lighting. The bear attack scene was cool although a bit excessive. For a CGI bear, it was pretty believable, but they went on with it for too long. No human, fur trapper from the 1820s or not, could survive the attack portrayed in the film which included the bear literally standing on Glass’s head. This would have most certainly crushed his skull. The final fight scene between Fitzgerald and Glass was also pretty exciting and mostly believable.


One of the weakest elements of the movie is the casting. Leonardo DiCaprio as the “tougher than nails” fur-trapper is about as appropriate as casting the Jewish Pianist (Adrian Brody) in the film Predators.



Although DiCaprio is a decent actor, he’s just not believable as a tough guy. Even though he’s in his early 40s, he still comes across as an adolescent. Probably because he’s never experienced any real world struggle in his life. Leo the vagitarian eats liver, then pukes like a little bitch. Wins Oscar.


The entire film hinges around the idea that Fitzgerald is a terrible and immoral person for killing Hawk and leaving Glass behind. Like I said before, Fitzgerald is the only character I could actually identify with because he was the only character using basic logic to navigate the situation.


Let’s look at this from a practical White man’s perspective: In reality, if you were badly mauled by a bear out on the frontier, your chances of survival were incredibly slim. If you didn’t bleed out from the wounds themselves, you would inevitably get gangrene/infection and die a very slow, painful death. All frontiersman understood this. Hugh Glass, assuming the legend is true, was unbelievably resilient both physically and mentally. Fitzgerald and Bridger had waited around for days. They had already risked much and couldn’t afford to wait any longer. Fitzgerald was doing the right thing in trying to put Glass out of his misery. They had no reason to believe he would survive. Hawk was acting like a moron and could have had an entire tribe of Ree Indian’s on them because of the ruckus he was making. Fitzgerald had already survived a partial scalping (in his past) and they had already been attacked once by the Ree on this trip. Fitzgerald was justified in killing Hawk because it was a matter of survival for himself and Bridger. He tried to reason with Hawk, but the kid was just dumb and gave him no choice. The way I see it, Fitzgerald only did two things wrong. First, he DIDN’T put Glass out of his misery. In reality, Glass would have been eaten alive by wild animals. Second, he lied about it to the other men. Other than that, I think his actions were perfectly reasonable.


As a filmmaker and a White man, the most frustrating parts about this film are the cultural appropriation and the lost opportunity. Much like the story of William Wallace (Braveheart), the story of Hugh Glass is an obscure legend rife with potential for an artfully embellished period-piece. Unlike other goings on in 19th century America such as The Civil War and The Wild West, there are few films about fur-trappers and the undoubtedly harrowing lives they lived. Unfortunately, Jewish-Hollywood appropriated the idea and instead turned this into an Anti-White propaganda film about how mean White men were to Indians. This is what happens when a hostile, alien force forms a monopoly on your major media production and distribution mechanisms in order to destroy your culture. To add further insult, they appointed a Mexican National (Alejandro González Iñárritu) to direct the film. You would be hard-pressed to find a person with an identity more at odds with a fair telling of this yarn given the nature of Mexican-American relations through the first half of the 19th century (and current relations).


Perhaps at some point in the future a straight, White, male filmmaker with similar ancestry to Hugh Glass will have the opportunity to make a film worthy of his legend. Just for fun, here are a couple possibilities of what I would have done differently with the film: Firstly, I would have cast Tom Hardy as Hugh Glass. He’s an excellent actor with a lot of range and is much more believably masculine than Leonardo. He also does a much better accent and generally has an interesting take on the characters he plays. Obviously, I wouldn't add in a half-Indian son as the focal point of the film. Not only is it factually-incorrect, Marxist bullshit, it draws attention away from the most interesting part of the story which is Hugh Glass's super-human perseverance. They could have given Glass a character arc in which he starts out wanting to kill the men that left him, but over the course of his harrowing journey he realizes that he would have done the same thing. There are multiple possibilities that are far superior to the course that was charted in the existing film.


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