What You Need To Know:
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.
(HH, B, APAP, LLL, VVV, SS, N, A, MM) Bleak, godless humanist vision that, however, seems to condemn man’s inhumanity to man and contains brief moral moments of compassion and remorse showing the need for civilization, but with little or no hope in the final scheme of things, plus soldiers become victims rather than treated like positive authority figures, so there’s some vague social rebellion occuring; about 46 obscenities (mostly “f” words) and six GD profanities; extreme violence with brain and blood splatter a few times includes man shot in head point blank, men shoot each other dead, soldier shot, man thinks soldier is knocking on his motel door but when he shoots back through the door he finds out he shot a young girl dead, soldiers fire back, man kills one soldier, another man kills another soldier, threats of violence, man knocked unconscious, female doctor sews up young man’s stomach wound, bodies cremated, threats of violence to get people to do things; two really crude sexual comments include older woman offers middle-aged man a young boy if he wants, but he declines and man briefly describes crude violation of his wife by a home invader before he killed the man; upper male nudity and a couple men sleeping in underwear are woken up; brief alcohol use; no smoking; and, men steal car, revenge, man calls a not-too-bright young man a “halfwit,” lawlessness reigns, and man turns young man against his brother, which results in a violent confrontation that ends badly.
THE ROVER is a bleak post-apocalyptic Australian movie about a man who goes after some apparent criminals with guns who stole his car. THE ROVER is consciously a treatise on man’s inhumanity to man as the law of the jungle becomes the only law when civilization collapses. An air of hopeless irony pervades the ending.
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.