Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Rover

The Rover
Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson

Rated: R for language and some bloody violence.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: June 13, 2014 Released by: A24 Films

An unabashed, singular vision is felt in the very atmospheric sun-baked Outback brutality and desolation of a new, rather evocative post-apocalyptic drama from the director of Animal Kingdom.

David Michod's The Rover stars Guy Pearce (from Kingdom) and Robert Pattinson (Cosmopolis) moving on to the disappointment of The Twilight Saga fans.

In Australia a decade from now lawlessness has resulted from a steep global economic downturn and Pearce's Eric is the cruel taciturn wanderer looking for his stolen ride. The only way to get to the bandits (Scott McNairy, David Field, and Tawanda Manyimo) is their other naive, man-child, southern-accented
left-for-dead member Rey (well played by Pattinson)

The storytelling may be influenced by the likes of Cormac McCarthy and Frank Miller's Mad Max franchise with a pervading quirky inhumane environment filled with a foreboding complexity. Basically a two-handler, the emotions are there to be wrestled with from diverse, but potent turns by Pearce and Pattinson, whether scarred, wounded, steely amidst a lack of empathy. The severity of the physical setting gives rise to the confrontations consumed by malevolence.The younger actor shows maturity in a role requiring rambling and other unsteady behavior and mannerisms that turns out to be quite well-rounded.

A detached hopelessness is hit upon with credibility in a way matched by a modest, if polished production with solid contributions across the board, including composer Anthony Partos. Michod wisely offers a brooding, nihilistic cinematic excursion not for the faint of heart, but for those willing to face an unrelenting, deliberate dust-filled claustrophobic intensity claustrophobic in surviving its godlessness.

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