It follows Bart, an American soldier in Iraq who is killed in a roadside ambush. He is mourned by his best friend, Joey and his girlfriend, Janet. When he rises from the grave, he and Joey reconnect and bond in a series of increasingly risky and raucous outings.
David Anders portrays Bart as a genuinely conflicted soul. In a fantastic twist on zombie-ism and vampirism, he retains his memory, personality, and ability to feel. He needs to feed on human blood to stop his decay, and he becomes completely inert at sunrise. As a revenant, he’s a monster that’s desperately trying to hold on to his humanity.
That isn’t an easy task with a friend like Joey. In a breakout comic performance by Chris Wylde, Joey is the ultimate asshole- a lazy narcissist who exists only for a good time. When Wylde and Anders are on screen together, they throw a hilarious and edgy energy off of each other that is completely hypnotic. The audience is never sure whether something funny or terrible is going to happen next. More often than not, it’s both.
The movie shifts tone quickly between black horror and profane slapstick, but never loses its path. There’s some caustic social commentary and great gory special effects. And the third act… I’m not saying a damn thing about the last half hour of this movie because you need to see it for yourself. Prior’s background is in special effects and there are some spectacular effects here. However, the best effect is the level of believability and humor that the cast brings to the table. At its best, The Revenant delivers like an early John Carpenter movie.
Comic book fans of Garth Ennis or Warren Ellis’s blend of satire, violence, and unexpected heart will certainly enjoy The Revenant. Strongly recommended.