Aussies and Guns – The Rover (2014)

I would love to see more movies like this.  So Guy walks into a bar…  Sorry, couldn’t resist.  I have to call him Guy because the character Guy Pearce is playing refuses to disclose his name to anyone.  He walks into a bar in post-apocalyptic Australia, but his car gets stolen while he is inside.  You soon find out that he will stop at nothing to get it back.  This is very different from what you typically see in movies in general; you don’t get to see too many post-apocalyptic Westerns these days, and the only two I can think of off the top of my head are Mad Max and the Book of Eli (and maybe Fallout and Sweet Tooth if you cross into the video game and comic book mediums).  This is a subgenre that I want to see more of.

_ROW8158.tifIt’s a subgenre that is filled with off kilter elements, and rarely feels the need to explain.

If I am not mistaken, this is Guy Pearce’s first leading role since Lockout…  Probably not the best thing to have on your resume.  I bet he would be a very interesting man to interview, or at least star on an episode of VH1’s Where Are They Now?  When you watch Memento, you think this guy is destined to be a sizable star.  Cut to 14 years later, sure, he’s still working and occasionally even getting roles in blockbusters (Iron Man 3), but he rarely gets cast as the lead, because he never became that household name.  This also stars Robert Pattinson as a yokel redneck; I know it’s not saying much, but this is his second best role (I don’t like Twilight like any respectable moviegoer and he’s in the worst Harry Potter movie), and I would know, as I have seen far more of his movies than is heterosexually acceptable (this makes 11).  He is a bit difficult understand throughout most of this, due to the accent, but he’s not bad, which may have something to do with him not having some girl to make moon-eyes with.

pattinsonIf I were him, I would be doing more manic roles in an attempt to lose this image, too.

I like this movie a lot.  As the opening of it shows, it can do very interesting things without using dialogue, which is always something I like to see.  It consistently surprises, and it is always doing something fresh and engaging.  It is all intensified by this crazy, disorienting score that is jarring and experimental in the same way that the music from There Will Be Blood is.  There is also a mystery element that is present here, and by the end of the first act, you really want to know: why does this man want this car back so badly?  My only big criticism is that I totally called it.  Does that make it predictable?  Slightly.  There’s only so many things it can be, and when you really think about it, you can probably figure it out, too.  It bothers me less in hindsight, as I did watch this four days ago; I’ve given this time to digest, but I had to mention it gave me a negative reaction when I saw it.

The Rover (2014) ***1/2

– Critic for Hire


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