Review #469: The Rover

A post-apocalyptic drama that prioritizes characters over setting to tell a story.

With society in decline, the rule of law has disintegrated and life is cheap. Hardened loner Eric travels the desolate towns and roads of the scorched and dangerous Australian outback. When a brutal gang of thieves steals his car and only remaining possession, they leave behind the wounded Rey in their wake. Forcing Rey to help track the gang, Eric gives chase. Determined beyond reason, unrelenting in the pursuit of his prey, Eric will go to any lengths to take back the one thing that matters to him. ~Wiki

The Rover presents the idea that not everything has to be about something. As those words are reiterated by Robert Pattinson near the ending I saw how it could be used to describe the film itself. Because most of the time, nothing is happening that requires much thought. Scenes of Guy Pearce and Pattinson talking in-between the tense moments is enough to keep you glued because you’ll want to discover more about their personalities and their motivations. The movie doesn’t give away anything about the ‘collapse’ of humanity unlike other doomsday offerings, and I’m glad it stayed that way as the focus remained on what matter the most: the people.

What began as nonsense eventually became an intriguing journey of two men seeking the same person for different reasons. It works because Pearce and Pattinson make it so believable, the latter in particular pulling off a career-building performance that will surely diminish skeptics who still think of him as Twilight’s Edward. It has solid, thrilling moments that make it a worthwhile theatrical offering and the cast alone is worth the price of admission.

GRADE: B

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