Release Date: OUT NOW!
2014 | 15 | Blu- ray/ DVD Director: David Michôd Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, Gillian Jones
you see on the big screen and you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s never been a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than the Australian outback.
True to the desolate desert’s on- screen legacy, the Oz of The Rover seems like an extraordinarily unpleasant place to live. Ten years after a catastrophic financial collapse, it’s a nation without hope. US dollars and the business end of a dusty rifle are the only accepted forms of currency. No one looks like they’ve even heard of soap, let alone used it.
Enter Eric ( Guy Pearce), a man whose life is located at the bottom of a bottle, and then gets worse. After stopping at a dingy watering hole Eric’s car is stolen – prompting a pedestrian, but blood- filled, pursuit across the barren landscape. Along the way Eric picks up Robert Pattinson’s Rey, the left- for- dead younger brother of Scoot McNairy’s car thief, leading the two to strike up an unconventional partnership.
It’s a minimalist tale more concerned with minutiae and atmosphere than sweeping plot developments. Tonally and in terms of action it’s much closer to The Road than the costumed theatrics of the Mad Max films. Guy Pearce is dependably great as the brooding spirit of vengeance driven to get his car back at any cost, while Pattinson impresses as Rey, the tricky drawl and mess of mannerisms a lifetime away from sparkly vamp Edward Cullen.
It’s beautifully staged and shot by David Michôd, who captures bleak tragedy in every frame. But for all the talent on both sides of the camera, the film has nothing to say. It’s a simple tale of revenge stretched to breaking point that fails to engage for large swathes as a result. It only just feels like it’s in SFX territory too, the world so thinly sketched you wonder why they even bothered with the five- minutes- in- the- future set- up. A missed opportunity.
A director’s commentary and a dull 45- minute Making Of. Jordan Farley