The Rover Review

The Plot

Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson star in this post apocalyptic crime drama. When Eric’s (Pierce) car is stolen by three crooks, he sets out to retrieve it by any means necessary. But after coming across one of the thieves brother Rey (Pattinson), his search becomes both easier and harder as he struggles to cope with Rey’s company.

The Good

There’s one simple yet utterly bizzare way to sum up The Rover which really does give a slight idea as to what you’ll be getting yourself in for if you see it. It’s essentially an artsy post apocalyptic Dude, Where’s My Car? With the smallest hint of Rain Man.

Now, while this sounds crazy, for the most part The Rover does work surprisingly well. Guy Pierce holds the opening spectacularly, with the lack of instant dialogue giving an air of anticipation. As Eric takes his time to slowly remove his thieves old pickup truck from it’s stuck position to catch up with them, he seems to take joy in showing his power in the situation by driving as close as possible and then falling back, yet barely expresses it. The sequence works incredibly well and Pierce proves that he could easily handle the film with perfect ease on his own.

That said, when Robert Pattinson finally enters the story, he gives just as good as a performance. His role as simple and naïve Rey is quite unlike anything he’s done before and soon enough, he proves he is good enough to get equal billing with Pierce.

Accompanied by an extremely well fitting score and a simple yet full script, of which it seems Joel Edgerton shares story credit, The Rover does it’s job well.

The Bad

If you look back over Robert Pattinsons career so far (The Twilight franchise, Remember Me etc.) it’s easy to conclude that one of his main acting traits has become his ability to express himself through the cunning use of broody stares mainly. His role in The Rover gives him the opportunity to work with more dialogue than usual. Although it’s an interesting twist on the RPattz we’ve all come to know and love, most of what he gets to say is rather pointless and will surely end up annoying viewers as much as it seems to annoy his co-star.

Just as the film is starting to head towards it’s conclusion a completely out of place entry to the otherwise decent soundtrack utterly distracts from the mood of the film, making it a struggle to get back to where it was. It’s only one throwaway scene which you will no doubt know when you see it, and it unfortunately damages what was otherwise a well performed, well written and well directed film.

One last point to make is in regards to the films ambiguous title. It does become clear eventually why it’s called The Rover but the makers really did miss a trick when they didn’t make Erics car, one of the main driving pieces of the story (no pun intended) a Rover…

The Ugly Truth

David Michod’s follow-up to his Oscar nominated debut feature Animal Kingdom is a definitely worth a watch at least for Guy Pierce. While it loses it’s way towards the final act, The Rover is still a chilling and tension-filled simplistic story which will entertain. Mostly.

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