Review: The Rover (2014)

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Guy Pearce proves his chops once more in The Rover, David Michôd’s effectively dressed, yet ultimately prosaic post-apocalyptic revenge thriller. In the rough outback, Eric (Pearce), a ruthless loner, undertakes a chase across the outback when two thugs steal his car, crossing paths with one of the thieves’ brothers (Robert Pattinson) in the process. Slow and steady in pace, and shady in context, The Rover is difficult to engage with for large stretches of its narrative, where, in all fairness, not a lot happens. It picks up considerably in momentum towards the end as Eric develops an unlikely bond with Pattinson’s simpleton Rey (a strong step in the right direction for the ex-Twilight star), and his hunt for revenge culminates in a satisfying – and accelerated – conclusion. The harsh and stifling aesthetic, combined with Antony Partos’ foreboding score and a full-bodied performance from Pearce, encourage viewers’ continued investment, but it’s often a chore. And 103 minutes later it’s no clearer what Michôd’s point was.

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