Set in Australia, ten years after an economic depression known as “The Collapse”, The Rover is a bleak glimpse into a dystopian future.
When Eric has his car stolen by three people on the run, he sets out on the road after them to get his only worldly possession back. On the way he comes across the abandoned brother of one of the thieves, and as they travel to their destination, a slight bond begins to form between the two.
A simple yet effective plot padded out with interesting ideas about human nature, money and justice, The Rover has lot going on beneath the surface.
More of an acquired taste than a crowd pleaser, it has little to no action sequences, but instead has bursts of violence throughout that prove equally as shocking and resonating.
It’s filled with tension from beginning to end, heightened by long scenes of silence (an initial car chase being particularly effective). As a film which has no moral compass, you’re left guessing as to where the plot could go next. This all adds up to one of the most visceral and atmospheric films I’ve seen so far this year.
Perhaps the most notable aspect is the film’s striking visual impact, with director David Michod using great photography and the muted colours of the sweeping Australian landscape to add a sense of barren-ness.
All of this is brought together by the two central performances from Guy Pierce and Robert Pattinson. Pierce playing his character with quiet intensity and animal ferocity (animals being a regular motif through the film), and Pattinson shining more here than he ever did as a sparkly vampire.
Their relationship isn’t as fully formed as I would have liked, but the small glimpses of ‘something’ between them are enough to keep you invested.
The Rover is a dark, violent, and at times an unsettling watch, but is well worth your time regardless. If you fancy something more gritty, more intense and just different to other films out at the moment, this is for you.
Image credit to http://www.imdb.com