In recent years, films centering around or having the story taking place in the country/continent of Australia have dwindled. Which is sad, because there is a lot creative potential in this place. And that’s where “The Rover” comes into play. Directed by David Michôd (“Animal Kingdom”), the film is a post apocalyptic view of the nation starring Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson (yes, Edward from “Twilight”, shut up). The movie is very good, yet there is one major flaw to it. “The Rover” is an exciting visual landscape as well as an intense drama from Australia.
An economic collapse of Australia has left many in an abandoned environment. One of these people is Eric (Guy Pierce), who wants to forget the past as it is too horrifying for him to take. Suddenly, a group of bandits come and steal Eric’s car. Now, in a broken-down truck, Eric must get his car back at all costs. Along the way, he meets and young kid named Ray (Robert Pattinson) who is badly injured; it just so happens that Ray’s brother is one of the bandits. The two must form an unlikely bond and team up to meet their own personal quotas: Eric- to get his car back, and Ray- to get revenge on his brother who left him to die.
“The Rover” is an intense drama that needs to be seen to have an individual experience when one watches this movie. The direction is perfect as director David Michôd creates a perfect atmosphere, leaving moments that have no dialogue work by giving the characters enough facial expression to show what’s happening. Performances in the movie are outstanding. Both Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson did fantastic jobs as well as the rest of the supporting cast. Musically, it is great as it blends both modern rock with Australian compositions, with heavy usage of winds and strings. But what really sets the movie above the rest is the cinematography. For you see, Australia is mostly desert, and for the context of this film, it works beautifully. The landscape is perfect for these types of films; if there is a movie that needs a post apocalyptic setting, then Australia is the place to film.
However, there is one major problem with “The Rover”, and that is the actual story. While the story is convincing enough and filled with very intense moments, there are scenes where the movie feels a bit predictable at times, mainly near the end. Also, if there had been more of a connection between Eric and Ray, then the chemistry would have worked far better than what we are given. One thing to note is that this movie can get pretty violent at times; for those who are squeamish on this type of material, then I wouldn’t recommend it. But the movie is still very good.
In conclusion, “The Rover” is a fantastic piece of Australian cinema that audiences need to see more of. If the story could have been improved a bit, then the movie would have been perfect. But as it stands with great direction and great performances, “The Rover” is definitely something to behold from the land down under.