Wordless. Stunningly beautiful. Enigmatic.
If the Mona Lisa is high art, "Redoubt" is for the same reason - no back story, little "front story," but enough mystery and beauty to hold your attention for 134 minutes (can the Mona Lisa do that?) One of the few movies I've wanted to see again, immediately after seeing it.
A trio of hunters, an older couple who make art from metal, and a forest ranger - three groups that barely interact in the snow-covered mountains of Idaho (of all places!). The hunters are played by beautiful women which certainly adds an element that will please most viewers. One is a firearms expert; the other two spend the film moving in very odd ways that could be called dance.
The setting and story are full of mystery, and although "something" does happen in the final act, it hardly resolves the primary mystery: who are these people and what are they doing here? The hunters, in particular, seem to have no abode - they live in trees in these mountains, seemingly hundreds of miles from any source of electricity - and electric light - except what you bring yourself.
The modern (solar panels, wildlife cameras), classic (high-powered rifles, electroplating) and ancient - the hills which are thousands if not millions of years old, share an uneasy but necessary symbiance.
If you have strong feelings against hunting or the glorification of firearms, these issues will probably prevent you for enjoying this film.
The credits indicate that the hunting scenes were simulated, but everything else is real. No CGI, composites or matte paintings were used, and no handheld or Steadicam either - although drones provide the wonderful aerial views.
"Redoubt" draws comparisons to "The Revenant," "Tree of Life," and Tarkovsky's "Solaris" and "Stalker," none of which I cared for, and "Koyaanisqatsi," which I like very much. Speaking of which, the music in "Redoubt" is even more avant-garde, and certainly helps to carry the film.
There were two shots - a generously-exposed view of the night sky, and a tree-climbing sequence, that were so amazing I could have watched them for the entire length of the film (in fact, I believe I said "WOW!" out-loud to the tree shot), but director/writer/imagineer Matthew Barney continues to find new things to show us, even into the sixth act (or "hunt" as he calls them).
Perhaps a knowledge of the mythology of hunter Diana would help to understand the film - perhaps the title means something (re-finding doubt?) - but without really understanding any of it, I was mesmerized by this film, and I recommend it highly to anyone who wants to experience a completely alternative view of life on Earth.