Synopsis: The straightforward narrative, if you are going to describe it that way, is Eric (Pearce) is determined to track down his stolen car and ends up using the injured brother of one of the thieves - Rey (Pattinson) - to help him.
Stan's thoughts: Have always admired Guy Pearce for his eclectic choice of work. He is a versatile actor. And if Robert Pattinson's post Twilight project choices are anything to go by then he seems determined to take a similar path. He's admitted in interviews that he is learning his craft on each new project and I have to admire him for that.
It makes for an exciting combination particularly teamed with director David Michod who directed the tense and grungy Animal Kingdom. The Rover takes tense and grungy in completely different direction. It is a slow burn that, refreshingly, gives very little detail up front.
For example, the story is set after some sort of economic or social collapse that is never explained. It is important in that those living in the remote Australian outback, where it is set, have retreated into a society that is simplistic in its desire to fulfil basic human need and feral in its pursuit of it. There also a languorous and almost depressing lack of purpose. Even the cars seem to move slowly in the vastness of the landscape. The only speed is the occasional deathly outburst of gunshot.
And we don't learn much about about Eric either; what we do learn is a gradual drip feed. Essentially The Rover is about someone clinging onto to a final shred of humanity - or perhaps he has already lost it? There are scant clues to Eric's determination to complete his task but they are there if you look. What you do get without any doubt is a sense of how dangerous it makes him.
Rey, who has a developmental disability, is the connection to the world Eric didn't bargain on and that in itself has him in a quiet inner turmoil.
The Rover is slow and gradual and quietly haunting. A week later I'm still thinking about it. Pearce and Pattinson both give intelligent and nuanced performances and it bodes well for the latter and his developing acting talent.
- Stan’s 79%
- IMDB 73%
- Metascore 64%
- Rotten Tomatoes 66%
- RT Audience Rating* 64%
* Based on number of people who rated the film 3.5/5 and higher