Thursday, December 11, 2014

the rover [2014]

an utterly fascinating film.  marketed as a post-apocalyptic movie this pic is structured as an old style western.  guy pierce portrays eric [in the movie he doesn't have a name; he never gives his name] an anti-hero set upon the australian outback searching for his last possession taken from him: his car.  eric is a man of no morals or scruples.  he bulldozes his way thru the narrative.  he is a man of violent action and little self-reflection.

but that is simply the surface of this movie.  the film director david michod allows eric the space to show us his humanity.  robert pattinson -- a pretty boy more famous as a lovelorn vampire who sparkles when exposed to sunlight in the twilight movies -- plays rey, the feeble-minded younger brother of scoot mcnairy, the leader of a criminal gang, who is left for dead after a botched robbery.

the gang of dumb-ass thieves steal eric's car.  eric scorches the earth in search of his last remaining possession.  rey helps eric find his car and the morons who took it.  that's the plot.

the violence is thick and swift.  this film takes place 10 years after an economic collapse.  in the austrailian outback there is very little law and a barely functioning economic infrastructure.  goods are purchased with u.s. dollars rather than austrailian dollars.  but if there is a global economic collapse wouldn't u.s. dollars be the first to go?  it is not made clear because of a scene when eric is trying to buy petrol for his car.  the seller wants u.s. dollars.  eric argues that money is just paper and is all worthless.

still, this is not a post-apocalyptic movie.  it is a lawless film.  eric rips thru the story as if he were a cattle rancher whose livestock was stolen and he will move hell and highwater to get his stock back.  director michod is languid with his story.  the violence is sudden and swift but the characters are given ample time to thicken with complexity.  eric and rey form a bond.  eric, it might be argued, thru his relationship with rey, rediscovers his humanity.

the pace is this movie is as spartan as eric's vocabulary and yet the violence is spectacular.  the combination might put off some viewers.  and yet at the end of the movie we come to know eric a little better.   this is a fantastic movie.  i can't recommend it enough.


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