The Revenant Review: This Is What The Minecraft Movie Should Be

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2011-11-18
leonardo dicaprio the revenant
Leonardo DiCaprio stars in Best Picture nominee, 'The Revenant' 20th Century Fox

The Revenant, the Leonardo DiCaprio motion picture that just earned an Oscar nomination, is a great movie, but it’s also something I never, ever expected: exactly what the Minecraft movie should be. That’s right… The Revenant is the dark, terrifying soul of what it feels like to play Minecraft in survival mode. And I say, without any joking or exaggeration, that the forthcoming Minecraft movie ought to, indeed needs to, evoke the same feelings as The Revenant to truly achieve its maximum potential. It sounds crazy, but hear me out.

 

The Revenant, Minecraft And The Art Of Survival

 

The Academy Award–nominated film tells a simple story, but one of epic scope. Leonardo DiCaprio plays Hugh Glass, a mountain man who is attacked by foes (Indians and also a bear) and lost, left for dead, in the wild wild wilderness. Without revealing any spoilers, he then spends a great deal of time and effort trapped out there, simply trying to survive and make his way home, for very compelling personal reasons. Along the way, he traverses a truly beautiful and endless winter forest (and winter mountains).

Moreover, he performs the classic tasks a Minecraft character does, early on in survival mode. He chops down trees. Struggles to make light and a fire to cook things on. Builds a makeshift shelter, then ventures out to find more important resources… especially food. It’s classic Survival Mode. Add in some mining, the Nether, the End, and a wheat farm, and you’ve got the core elements of Minecraft.

It sounds silly, but The Revenant really does evoke some of the same emotions I feel when playing Minecraft… especially when I’m exploring a far-away region with just the resources I have on my back. The Revenant has incredible sweeping natural vistas; Minecraft has the same, except they’re procedurally generated. Both the movie and the game are about surviving at all costs… while in pursuit of even greater goals. In The Revenant that goal is pretty specific; in Minecraft, it can take any direction at all.

We don’t know a ton about the Minecraft movie yet, except that it’s not intended to tell the story of Minecraft. The movie, directed by Rob McElhenney, will tell a story that could happen in Minecraft. It’s one vision of many, meant to capture the spirit of the game rather than recreate it in toto. What better way to capture Minecraft’s heart than by portraying the sheer ingenuity needed for simple survival? Resourcefulness, inventiveness, danger and desperation, in a world of stunning beauty… this is Minecraft, and The Revenant.

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2011-11-18Minecraft is a sandbox video game created by Markus "Notch" Persson, later fully developed and published by Mojang. The creative and building aspects of Minecraft enable players to build constructions out of textured cubes in a 3D procedurally generated world. Other activities in the game include exploration, resource gathering, crafting, and combat. Multiple gameplay modes are available, including a survival mode where the player must acquire resources to build the world and maintain health, a creative mode where players have unlimited resources to build with and the ability to fly, an adventure mode where players can play custom maps created by other players, and a spectator mode where players can fly around and clip through blocks, but cannot place or destroy any. The PC version of the game is noted for its modding scene, where a dedicated community creates new gameplay mechanics, items, and assets for the game.
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