Film Review: The Rover

Whatever you think was over for me, was over a long time ago.

We’re only halfway through 2014 and this year is proving to be very generous with some truly excellent films. I recently saw writer/director David Michôd’s (Animal Kingdom) latest opus, The Rover, which stars Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson. An incredibly dark and unforgiving post apocalyptic film, (which is referred to simply as “the collapse”) that is constantly tense and dark throughout. There is a such a palpable sense of dread as we journey through the harsh and desolate outback of Australia.

Never in a million lifetimes would I ever imagine myself saying this, but if Robert Pattinson doesn’t win some sort of award for his performance in this film, then it is a flawed system indeed. He is absolutely magnificent and gives what could be one of the best performances I have ever seen in a movie. EVER. He plays “Rey” a mentally slow, yet kind hearted man who was left behind by his brother after being gut shot. Pearce (whose character is unnamed) uses Rey to track his brother down and reclaim his stolen car. Pattinson adds so many little nuances to Rey, such as ticks and speech impediments and it is all done so sincerely and impressively, that I forgot I was watching the same kid who just a few years ago played a sparkly vampire.

Pearce is fantastic as per usual, and his character is perfectly adapted to this cruel and unforgiving world. He deals out death as mercilessly as nature itself. He is a survivor through and through and a terrific contrast to the innocent and incapable Rey. Anytime he raises his hand to Rey it gives you such a good sense of just how far gone he really is. Pearce and Pattinson are brilliant together and this being a very character driven story, their performances (along with an amazingly eerie soundtrack) make what is essentially a story of ‘a dude looking for his car’ a tense and gripping one.

The Rover is an absolutely brilliant, bleak and utterly hopeless film. It is not going to be for everyone, but if you like a tense, character driven narrative, then it really doesnt get much better than this. Absolutely check this one out.

-Sock Talk Jon-

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