The Rover is a grim, beautifully shot, yet utterly hopeless post-apocalyptic tale that is not for the faint of heart. It will immediately remind of Mad Max, maybe even The Road, but I also found many more similarities to old Westerns where lawlessness is a way of life.
I’m looking for my car. Three men in it. Have you seen it?
Guy Pierce stars as Eric. Eric is a normal guy by all accounts. He’s traveling alone in his car and stops for a glass of water. While sitting at the empty bar some thieves crash their truck and, in desperate need of a getaway vehicle, steal Eric’s. That’s just not going to fly. Eric watches as they drive away in his car, gets in the truck that belongs to the thieves, and runs them down. Outnumbered, Eric is knocked unconscious, and he awakens next to the truck. This begins his journey to find his car and punish those who stole it. By sheer chance, Eric crosses paths with a half-wit named Rey (a nearly unrecognizable Robert Pattinson), who is a brother to one of the thieves. He was also left wounded, presumed dead, by his brother and gang of thieves. Together, the two men search for the men, but have different motives.
That is the general plot to the film. The film seems to wander aimless at times. At certain points one may ask “what the hell is this movie about?” That’s the film’s intent. It is about nothing because that is what the world has come to. It is an examination of the human condition in the event of a societal collapse. When mankind is left to govern itself, without law and order, what will mankind become? There is a scene midway through where Eric confesses a heinous crime he committed. He explains that after he did it how no one came looking for him. That what he did should have mattered and should have meant something, but it didn’t matter anymore.
You shouldn’t ever forget the lives you’ve taken. That’s the price for taking them.
As mentioned before, this is a dark, grimy, gritty, and brutal vision of a society after its collapse. It is not for everyone. The final scene will leave some with an empty feeling inside. “He did all this…for that?” But, for me, it serves to prove the whole point of the film. This is a tale that is essentially about nothing in a world that has lost it’s meaning. In this meaninglessness there is one last bit of Eric’s humanity that remains.
The Rover gets an A.