From the beginning of the film, we know this is a savage world. In brilliant cinematic shorthand, Max (Tom Hardy) eats a live lizard and quickly gets picked up by skeletal warriors. Max is kept prisoner as a “blood bag,” a sort of health slave used for transfusing blood into injured fighters. He is brought to the Citadel, ruled by the Lobo-esque Immortan Joe (Hugh Keays-Byrne), who represses the population by keeping a tight control on the water supply.
Before the West was won, it was a frontier wilderness where nature’s rule of red tooth and claw reigned. Frontiersmen went out as trappers to get pelts from these vasts forests. Hugh Glass (Dicaprio) is an experienced tracker and is working for one company who has been out in the forest for months until they are attacked by the indigenous people. The survivors, led by Captain Andrew Henry (Domhnall Gleeson) have to find a way back to their fort, and when disaster strikes, Glass is left for dead in a shallow grave. Glass miraculously survives and makes his way through dangerous terrain, predatory wildlife, unfriendly French, and angry natives, driven by a lust for revenge against the man responsible for his woes.