The Rover takes place in Australia ten years after a massive economic collapse, while two men travel together on a journey that takes them through dangerous territory, only to meet uncertain fate at the end.
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson star in the new film by director David Michod (Animal Kingdom). Pearce is Eric, a former farmer. He has murdered his wife and all he’s got to his name is his car. When a gang of thieves steals his car, he does whatever he needs to do to get his car back. In his frantic journey to find his car, he encounters one of the brothers of the thieves — Rey (Pattinson), young and not so bright. Eric is the only person who knows where to find his brother, so off the two men go, on a journey where they encounter all types of people who barely survive Australia’s harsh and brutal landscape. This includes carnival performers, Asian refugees, aboriginals, cautious shopkeepers, and the military, who try to maintain peace in the region — unsuccessfully.
Their journey to retrieve Eric’s car is a dangerous one — they get into all sorts of shoot outs, and when Eric is captured by the military, Rey comes to his rescue and ambushes the soldiers in their compound. And at the end of their journey, what’s in Eric’s car that he desperately wanted to retrieve will surprise you.
The Rover is similar in story and in plot to the Mad Max films, where bandits roam the countryside and kill anyone and anything for food. The Rover is also very similar to the fantastic The Road, where a father and his son roam around trying to survive after an unknown catastrophe hits the earth. But The Rover is not quite as good as these two films. At 108 minutes, it’s a bit lengthy and gets a bit boring, with characters who come and go. And during intense shootouts, Pearce and Pattinson’s characters somehow survive where they were outnumbered. Director Michod’s Animal Kingdom was an excellent study of a crime family and it’s stone-cold matriarch (which was played by Jacki Weaver), but in The Rover we really don’t know much of Eric and Rey’s characters, and who they are or any of their background. So when the final shootout in the film takes place, we really don’t care who lives or dies, we just want the film to get to some kind of conclusion.