September 10, 2014

VOD Review: The Rover (2014)

The Rover is a story about a man who really loves his _____.

It's pretty much impossible for us not to watch something that Guy Pearce is in. Some of the projects that he chooses are not always to our taste, but the guy is one of the best actors working today, and there's just something about him that mesmerizes us.

If you haven't seen L.A. Confidential, Ravenous, Memento, The Count of Monte Cristo, The Proposition, or Lawless, then you're not only missing out on some great movies, but you're missing out on some great performances by Pearce.

When we first heard about The Rover, we immediately hoped that it would end up being a gritty and brutal effort along the lines of The Proposition; Guy Pearce is at his best (to us, anyway) when he's out for revenge, and killing everything on screen.

Well, The Rover is definitely gritty, and it's plenty brutal, and Guy Pearce does his damnedest to kill everything on screen... so needless to say we were pleased with what we got with this movie.

Oh, and back to that "The Rover is a story about a man who really loves his _____" thing... We know that sounds all sorts of vague, but once you see the movie (and are able to fill in the blank), you'll understand and appreciate that line, and the entire movie will play differently for you.

The Rover is the story of a man who has his car stolen by a gang of criminals, and the lengths to which he's willing to go to get it back. Let us just say right off the bat that those "lengths" are pretty much "any," as he really, really seems to want his car back. Maybe it has some sort of deep sentimental value to him, who knows.

"That's my car, mate!"
10 years after a Global Economic Crisis called  The Collapse, people from all over the world flock to Australia for some reason, which makes no sense to us at all; there's too many venomous snakes in Australia, and most of it is desolate, arid desert, so most of those people are probably going to die. Why not move to Sweden or something? All you need to survive there is a sweater and blonde hair.

Plus in Sweden, he won't be able to kill you.
After a robbery gone wrong, a gang of bumbling assholes steal a car which belongs to a guy named Eric, which turns out to be the wrong move for them; Eric is a solemn, moody, and creepy SOB who really loves his car, so naturally, and he's not thrilled at all to see his it jacked. As he gives chase to said assholes, he comes across the slow-witted  brother of their leader, who helps him track down his car.

Needless to say, blood and mayhem ensue.

"He's Blood, and I'm Mayhem."
Will anyone survive the bloodbath that is about to take place? Will Eric ever get his car back? Will we ever find out why he wants it back so damn bad? Is the rover his car, or is Eric himself a rover of sorts? We have no answers to any of these questions, but suffice it to say that we sure do love the questions. *We have no idea what that even means.

Some men just want to watch the Outback burn.
Much like Red Hill and Mystery Road, The Rover is a modern-day western of the highest caliber, and an Aussie Thriller with a lot of bite.

This movie is an unforgiving, unflinching tale of revenge that is chilling to behold. Director David Michod has established a bleak, sparse, and parched atmosphere here, and as gorgeous as the Australian Outback is, it seems the perfect setting for a gloomy tale like this. This world is a brutal one filled with desperate people trying to survive on barely anything, and it's captivating in it's dreadfulness.

"No one takes my car, mate!"
We're probably going to buy the Blu-ray of this movie just to see the behind the scenes making of featurette, as the shoot was said to be nightmarish for both cast and crew; shooting in scorching 113 degree temperatures; being besieged with droves of flies that were constantly buzzing in their faces; eating nothing but bread and barbecue sauce for weeks on end; being filthy and sweaty for the better part of two months... knowing the hellish conditions under which the movie was produced made it come off grittier and more realistic for us. The cast and crew definitely went there with this one, and it shows.

"Where. Is. My. Car. Mate?!?"
Guy Pearce absolutely fucking kills in this movie. His character is obviously a guy who doesn't give a shit about much, and he does whatever he needs to to survive and gets back what's his, but he's also a character that has an undercurrent of sadness running through him, beneath the rough exterior. We just couldn't help but feel for the guy. By the time the ending comes, and it's finally revealed to us exactly what he's been about the whole time, we were left feeling a bit morose about the whole thing. Also, we couldn't help but admire his dedication.

This is the only shot in the movie in which he's smiling.
As fantastic as Guy Pearce was here, Rob Pattinson was equally so, albeit in a totally different way. To see the Twilight star play someone so vulnerable and yet so determined to become a stronger, better person, was great to watch. He was like a puppy who looked to Pearce's big dog for guidance, and it played perfectly.

This kid is a great actor, and it's nice to see him doing some real film work in his post-sparkly Vampire days.

"Call me Edward Cullen again. Go ahead."
The Australian Outback, while being absolutely gorgeous, is unforgiving and it wants to kill you. Just like most women.

This Australian pigeon will pick your bones clean!
The Rover is a gorgeous, bleak, and powerful film, that while giving us our fill of ultra-violent revenge, played with our emotions and made us feel a bit sad for its characters. It's a movie that definitely deserves to be seen, and hopefully it finds itself a strong audience on VOD and Home Video. If you like gritty Thrillers, then you should definitely give this one a shot.


The Rover is available now on VOD, and will hit Blu-ray and DVD on September 23rd.

Since there was basically no female presence in this movie, here are Guy Pearce and Rob Pattinson looking all hot & sexy? Hey, why not.


  1. It took me awhile to get into the movie; it is so spare and unforgiving, but when I did, I happily rode the rest of the way with Pearce. I think it was the scene where he uses a rifle rather than his pistol to take out those guys. That's what I would have done - take them out at a 100 yards with no risk. Pattinson turns in an amazing performance. The scenery is about as bleak as I've ever seen in a movie; makes Road Warrior look like it was filmed in the Bahamas. As to the last scene - I liked it. A man's gotta do what a man's gotta do and his loyalty ennobled Pearce in my eyes. To reference Road Warrior again, that sort of relationship has a history in Australian films. A spot-on review.

  2. Well said, Anon, and 100% agree on all points.

  3. From the moment that he began chasing the guys, to the end of the movie, I was glued to the screen.
    This movie was Oscar worthy, IMO!!
    Also, on a side note, I know why he wanted his car back so much, but I am not a lover of _______ that bad, but I see that is was the point of it all, there was a back story to it. It reminded me a bit of another movie that I recently watched, with Keanu Reeves, and I don't want to say the name, because it would give away Rovers plot.

    1. This movie did not get the attention it deserved. Our eyes were glued too.