Movie Review – The Rover (2014)

The Rover
Directed by David Michod
Courtesy of Lionsgate
Release Date: September 23, 2014

the rover

When I first heard about THE ROVER, I immediately thought of Mad Max. I mean, Australia…post-apocalyptic…who wouldn’t make that connection, right? But after watching the film, I have to report it bears no resemblance to the leather-clad Mel Gibson franchise. THE ROVER is a slick thriller that entertains on many levels. And while you might be hesitant to give it a look, you should take my advice and watch it. I’ll bet you will be glad you did.

If you are not familiar with THE ROVER, here is the plot synopsis courtesy of Lionsgate:

Set in a world 10 years into the general collapse of society, THE ROVER follows hardened loner Eric as he travels the desolate towns and roads of the Outback. When a gang of theives steals his car, they leave behind a wounded Rey. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that still matters to him.

THE ROVER caught me off guard; I wasn’t expecting the film to be this good. But it grabbed my attention and captivated me throughout its entirety. Granted, it is a slow-burner of a film (meaning it takes a little while to build up), but once it gets going it doesn’t let go.

The film itself looks great onscreen and has some amazing backdrops. The landscape is bleak and barren, but it still manages to inspire a sense of curious beauty at the same time. These images are enhanced by the HD picture on the Blu-ray; I am so glad I watched this in HD, and I recommend you do so as well.

The acting in THE ROVER is top notch. I have to confess I was interested to see Robert Pattinson in a role that didn’t have anything to do with teen-vampire flicks. I’ve heard and read good things about his abilities as an actor, but I had never seen him in anything else prior to this. Thankfully, he does an excellent job in this film. I am truly impressed with the range of his talent, and I hope to see him in more roles like this one. Guy Pearce does not disappoint, either. I have always enjoyed his work, and this is just one more role to add to his impressive canon of films.

My sole complaint about the film is more of a raised eyebrow than an actual gripe. The end of the film (don’t worry…no spoilers here) is riddled with ambiguity. I think I know what Eric is doing, but I’m not positive. And he if IS doing what I think he is, then I’m left scratching my head.

Still, THE ROVER is one heck of a good film, and I recommend giving it a shot. It starts off with a spark instead of a bang, but it soon builds up to a great climax. If you decide to check this one out, be sure to stop back by here and let us know what you think about it. The film hits shelves tomorrow.


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