ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Rover (2014) Review

Updated on June 29, 2014

I didn’t know anything about this movie, except that it was directed by the same guy who did Animal Kingdom (which I hadn’t seen), so it was the intriguingly tense and well-cut trailer that first pulled me in. Its visuals gave me a sense of stoic violence and poetic dialogue, and for the most part this was the movie—unfortunately, for all its potential, a few things held it back from greatness.

The basic plot is that a man relentlessly pursues some men with guns who stole his car. Through this framework, the director explores an Australia in the imagined-not-so-distant-future whose economy has collapsed, its gun-toting inhabitants trapped in a world of fear and endless cyclical violence. The production reflects this landscape in a gritty, real way, without any of the shiny computer-animated world-building shots you might expect from a major studio-driven post-apocalyptic movie. The story is intimate and closed off in the midst of a sprawling, empty landscape.

The cinematography conveys all of this fantastically. The saturated yellows bear down on you with heat, the compositions are eye-catching and not obvious. But between here and editing is where it starts to fall apart. Because the film lingers for far too long on those compositions, slowing the pace to a grinding halt throughout the entire film. Now, I understand as well as the next filmmaker that the slow pace serves as a reflection of the state of the environment and the meditative interiors of the “deep” characters…but there’s a certain point where it gets in the way, where it stops serving the storytelling and starts serving the director’s idea of the story. In essence, there is too little story happening to afford that kind of pace. No Country For Old Men, this isn’t.

Besides the pacing, my other problem was how the director poured over close-ups of his collection of dirty, grizzled men, as if to say, “Look at these muscular, bearded dudes, see how angry they are, how sweaty and hard as nails,” which stops being impressive about halfway through. There is a grand total of two women in the film, one owning a whorehouse, the other a hospital, both minor characters, both defenseless against angry men with guns.

Finally, I should say that Guy Pearce did a surprisingly tremendous job with his character. We don’t get a lot of information about him for the majority of the runtime, so it takes a great actor to convey such depth and intensity so consistently well. I cannot say the same for Robert Pattinson. The Twilight star, who said in a press conference for Cosmopolis that he doesn’t think actors should prepare for any role (to the collective groan of actors everywhere), puts his philosophy on full display. He’s so confused about who he’s playing that 1) his accent is inconsistent and poorly conceived, and 2) you can’t tell what he’s trying to get across from scene to scene. His character is meant to be innocent, childlike, but surprisingly adapted to this world. For Pattinson this translates to a lot of over-acting in the face, constant twitching motion and emotion mixed with puppy-dog eyes, a completely unbelievable and exaggerated characterization in an otherwise real environment.

In sum, if you choose to see this, you’ll likely be surprised at the execution of some elements (the tension and action are very well-handled when they do spring up!), and disappointed by others. And while it gets its point across, that a loss of innocence propels cyclical violence, I’m not sure that I can’t say this movie exploits that theme in an unsatisfyingly shallow way. Still, I commend its independent spirit.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Justin A. 

      4 years ago

      Great review, as always!!!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)