Review: The Revenant

Schizophrenic horror comedy with no moral compass.

According to the publicity, The Revenant is packed full of ‘laugh out loud moments and suspense’. I didn’t laugh once, and the only suspense I felt was in waiting for this movie to end.

Bart (David Anders) is serving in Iraq when he’s shot to pieces. The priest at his funeral goes on about how Bart hadn’t decided whether he believed in God or not, and – lo and behold – he comes back to life after being buried in the cemetery. His first port of call is his mate, Joey (Chris Wylde), an obnoxious waster who has already slept with Bart’s fiancée the night they put him in the ground.

Together, they discover Bart is no ordinary zombie. He can only survive by drinking human blood, making him some kind of weird vampire-zombie hybrid. So, after killing a mugger, they decide to rid the streets of scum and feed Bart at the same time, but things go disastrously wrong.

I can’t help thinking that in amongst all this is the germ of what could have been quite a good idea. A zombie superhero vigilante should have been a cool premise for a B-movie horror flick, but sadly not much about The Revenant makes any sense. We’re never told exactly how Bart came back from the dead, or why he’s a crossbreed; he can’t tolerate ordinary food, but can down alcohol to his heart’s content, which also strangely gets him drunk; sunlight doesn’t kill him, it just makes him sleepy. And as for that ending… what?

This wouldn’t have been such a major issue if the main characters were likeable, but instead they’re morally bankrupt. Yes, Bart and Joey kill the drug dealers, but then they steal their stashes to get high. Bart loves his fiancée so much, but has no qualms at all about feeding on her. Finally, all the homages to other films – such as Robocop and Reservoir Dogs – just come across as the filmmakers running out of ideas. In all honesty, this one should have stayed buried, because it’s not just the dead guy that stinks here.

A cult zombie classic? Dead wrong. 3/10

Paul Kane

Universal Pictures, Out April 2
Click here to order The Revenant on DVD from Amazon.co.uk

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