The Rover

June 20, 201464 min

What would happen if the world had an economic meltdown? Everywhere would not be hit the same, with some places being able to withstand it better than others. I would think a country like Australia would have a wild west like atmosphere, because of its open country. David Michod’s (Animal Kingdom) new film explores just that subject, a world ten years after a worldwide economic collapse, and the people who inhabit it.

Eric (Guy Pearce) is what you would call a loner. He doesn’t have many possessions, except a car that he is driving to an unknown destination. While stopped to get some supplies, three man have an accident and lose control of their vehicle, and being that they are running from something, they decide to take Eric’s vehicle. He attempts to chase them down to get his car back, but is persuaded to give up, something Eric seems hell bent not to do. He soon meets Rey (Robert Pattinson), who is wounded from a bullet and who turns out was with the three men who stole Eric’s car. After getting Rey looked after, he’s forced to help to retrieve his vehicle, where he goes from being a captive to an accomplice.

Some films have that rare ability to do so much with very little, and “The Rover” is definitely one of those films. With its bleak environment and even bleaker characters, the story gives you little details along the way, but still manages to keep you engaged. Eric is a mystery in every sense of the word and Pearce plays him perfectly, saying little at times, often leaving you curious at what lies behind his eyes. While Pearce brings his usual brilliance to the screen, the surprise here is Pattinson, who steals the show with an enlightening performance.  What sets this film apart from so many is director Michod’s world building which paints a perfect picture, albeit dark one for the film’s characters to move around in. If you haven’t seen Michod’s first film, “Animal Kingdom”, you should; it is the perfect appetizer for this brilliant follow-up.

While many things have the name Rover in it, things like your dog’s name, the vehicle that is exploring Mars, and of course that game that always wants you to come over (which I guess is also about a dog). You can add another thing that has the name Rover in it, but in this case, it might be the best one of them all.

 

Brian Taylor

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