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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Rover

It's funny, but movies shot in the Australian Outback all seem to be good, at least the ones I've seen. I'll add The Rover, a film by David Michod, which is set in the near future after "the collapse."

We don't know anything about the collapse, but it seems economic rather than nuclear or biological. There is still electricity, and people still drive cars (as a new Mad Max film comes up, I'm reminded again of how dumb people are when they have limited resources but use them frivolously. Of course, that describes us right now in 2015, doesn't it?) But there's desperation in the air, and nobody seems to be having much of a good time (or bathing).

Guy Pearce is our hero, of sorts. He lives in a ramshackle building, and has a car. A trio of men, who have just fled some sort of crime (one is bleeding badly) have a crash in their truck and take Pearce's car. He comes out and, after getting their truck back on the road, chases them. They are armed, though, and knock him silly.

Eventually he finds a young man, badly wounded, who tells him the truck he has is his brother's. He's Robert Pattinson, looking as unlike Edward in Twilight as possible. Pearce has to get him stitched up just to find out where his brother has gone--he really wants his car back. The two form an uneasy alliance, as Pattinson realizes his brother left him to die.

The dialogue is spare--this is the kind of movie where people ask questions but don't get answers, and the action is pretty brutal--Pearce's character is not sentimental. We finally find out a bit more about him when he's arrested, but it's almost unnecessary. He comes from a long line of loner anti-heroes, and fits in quite nicely.

Michod also made Animal Kingdom, which got great reviews, but I think this film is much stronger (it is also unburdened by heavy accents, although I'm a bit puzzled why Pattinson uses an American southern accent). I am keen on seeing what Michod does next.

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