THE ROVER Add To My Top 10
Release Date: June 13, 2014
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 102 minutes
Distributor: A24 Films
Director: David Michod
Writer: David Michod
Address Comments To:David Fenkel
601 West 26th Street, Suite 1740
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (646) 568-6015; Website: www.a24films.com
The movie opens by announcing that the setting is the Australian outback, 10 years after “the collapse.” A weary man stops his car to get a drink at a decrepit roadside bar guarded by a man with a shotgun. The bar is more like a shack than a true building. As the man sits nursing his drink, three criminals speeding in a truck have an argument. A wounded man, Henry, is upset that the other two men left his brother, Ray, dying on the road. Apparently, some violent altercation occurred miles back. The argument doesn’t end well, and the truck they’re driving rolls over and gets stuck among some large rubber pipes.
The three gangsters take the drinking man’s car, and he gives chase to them using their truck. When he confronts them to return his car, they manage to knock him unconscious. The man wakes up and drives the truck to the next little outpost of desert homes and businesses. He tries to find out if anyone’s seen the three men in his car. He also wants to buy a gun. An older woman eventually tells the man which direction the three men went, but the man selling him two guns wants too much money, so the man blows his head away with one gun and takes both the guns.
Eventually, the man looking to get his car back runs into Ray, the other wounded man. Ray is not a really bright guy, but he recognizes the truck Henry was driving. When the man looking for his car realizes Ray is Henry’s brother, he decides to get Ray a doctor so he can find out where Henry and the other two men are headed.
As the plot develops, Ray tells the man where his brother, Henry, is headed. Ironically, Ray and the man begin to bond. The man convinces Ray that his brother abandoned him. The result of all this is more murder and death.
THE ROVER is a bleak movie. The bleakness and the laconic acting are effective, but a bit slow, and perhaps a bit contrived. The nameless man looking to get his car back is hard to sympathize with, and the viewer’s sympathy ultimately shifts from him to Ray. In fact, Ray becomes the ultimate victim in the movie, and the nameless man actually becomes the catalyst who turns Ray into a victim. However, Ray does his share of killing. For example, in one scene, he accidentally kills a young girl. Also, at the end, [SPOILER ALERT] the movie seems to show that the nameless man realizes that he bears responsibility for Ray’s eventual death. Also, the ending reveals the real reason the nameless man was so desperate to get back his car. The real reason is like one of those ironic endings that the TV program THE TWILIGHT ZONE excelled in creating.
All in all, therefore, THE ROVER deliberately seems to be a testimony of man’s inhumanity to man. As such, it shows that, when civilization collapses, people behave worse than animals. Sadly, this is indeed true. However, as presented here, it’s ultimately a godless vision with little or no hope, even though the movie contains some elements of human compassion and remorse, and even though there are indications that the nameless man recognizes his own moral corruption.
THE ROVER also contains plenty of strong foul language and very strong violence. There are also two crude sexual references. So, adding the bleak presentation, MOVIEGUIDE® believes media-wise viewers should rate THE ROVER unacceptable.
THE ROVER seems to be an overt testimony of man’s inhumanity to man. As such, it shows that, when civilization collapses, people behave worse than animals. Sadly, this is indeed true. However, as presented here, it’s ultimately a godless vision with little or no hope, despite a few positive moral elements. THE ROVER contains plenty of strong foul language and very strong violence. There are also two crude sexual references. So, adding the bleak presentation, MOVIEGUIDE® believes media-wise viewers should rate THE ROVER unacceptable.