Written & Directed by David Michôd
Starring: Guy Pearce, Robert Patterson & Scoot McNairy.
Two days ago I had the privilege to go watch two screenings at a cinema in Amsterdam. The two movies were Boyhood by Richard Linklater (review coming later) and The Rover by David Michôd. I was very hyped to see Mr. Michôd’s new movie, since I loved his debut movie ‘Animal Kingdom’ which came out back in 2010 and got even a Oscar nomination for Jacki Weaver’s performance.
The Rover is a contemporary western taking place in Australia ten years after a global economic collapse. Eric (Guy Pearce) a hardened loner is in his car and decides to go enter an abandoned bar in a bleak desert, when suddenly three thieves who are trying to escape from a crime have a car accident nearby. The thieves decide to steal Eric’s last remaining possession – his car. He hunts them down in order to get his car back, but he crosses paths with an injured man named Rey (Robert Patterson) who appears to be one of the thief’s brother that got abandoned at the crime scene. They form a duo with an uneasy bond in a dangerous journey where they are being hunted by various groups.
I was just as surprised with this movie like I was with Animal Kingdom as I saw it for the first time couple years back. Only this one is more slowly paced and bleaker, but nonetheless absolutely fantastic! We all know by now that Guy Pearce is a fantastic actor and yet again in The Rover he plays a very bleak and mysterious character – flawless, but the biggest surprise of this movie and I can’t believe I’m saying this, was Robert Patterson. Wow, did that guy act the shit out of this complex character. He was excellent! He sure got some training in his acting, because we all know how badly he was before with that…oh you know that shitty tweeny franchise we got tortured with for years. I won’t be surprised if he is going to be nominated for an Oscar next year. You totally deserve it Mr. Patterson, kudos to you sir.
The next thing I like to talk about is the cinematography. David Michôd picked a female cinematographer for this project, she’s named Natasha Braier. I’m going to stand up from my desk now and clap to her for a minute…….. Ladies and gentleman keep an eye out for this woman, because she is going to be big, she must be because she did an extraordinary job on this movie. I haven’t seen any of her other movies she did but what I just saw is already a reason to search for those movies and see what she did in those. If I ever get the chance to film a movie in an abandoned desert, I know who to call for the job. If it was up to me she deserves a Oscar nomination, maybe even a win, I won’t be surprised by that either.
If I have to look for negative points, I have to say that some of the scenes seem to slow for some moments. At those moments I just thought ‘Okay cool, but can we go just a little bit faster at this point’. So from a negative point of view that is pretty much it.
The movie is not for everyone. If you can’t get through the first 10 minutes of this movie than you better stop watching, because it is going to be like that for the next hour and 30 minutes. You really need to be sucked into the world as bleak as this one. Overall I thought this movie was excellent and better than Michôd’s first film and definitely a better looking one. If you have seen the movie, please tell me what you thought about it.
The Rover gets an 8,5/10.