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Wick's Review

Created Jun 25, 2014 11:43PM PST • Edited Jul 02, 2014 03:17PM PST

  1. Quality
  2. Good 3.0

    Lots of sound and fury, signifying nothing. Well, that’s not true. The Rover signifies a monumental Guy Pearce performance, coupled with a notable Robert Pattinson one. Nor was there lots of sound, come to think of it. Surprisingly little actually, what with Guy Pearce’s quietly laconic avenger. Lots of fury, yes.

    Pearce’s Aussie mates David Michôd & Joel Edgerton1 didn’t need to look far afield to pull this together. Mashup The Road & Mad Max and you get The Rover.2 Pity Edgerton didn’t write in a role for himself.

    Guy Pearce is the thing however. The Aussie titan delivers a max performance every bit the one fellow Ozzie Mel Gibson handed down. Perhaps that’s what Michôd & Edgerton had in mind for their story: enable their mate to put a Gibson notch in his belt. Plus they got The Rover out now in ‘14, before next year’s Mad Max: Fury Road, when the estimable Tom Hardy will surely dominate multiplexes worldwide as the post-apocalyptic hero from Down Under. It’s kind of a British Commonwealth rivalry thing.

    See anything Guy Pearce stars in is a rule that rarely lets me down.

    It didn’t with The Rover, even if it didn’t lift me up either.

    1 Michôd directed Pearce & Edgerton in Animal Kingdom.

    2 Pearce appeared in The Road, about a decent man navigating a savagely brutal post-apocalyptic landscape. A similar dynamic animates The Rover & Mad Max, both set in the Australian Outback.

  3. Great 4.0

    Guy Pearce has long since established himself as a first rate moviestar, the kind who can hold the big screen in an extended closeup of his head, which is exactly how The Rover opens. Talk about carrying a picture. The role and story may be underwritten, but they’re not overwhelming for Pearce. His characteristically virile performance as a post-post-modern laconic avenger is one that Clint Eastwood would admire.

    In fact, Clint should direct Guy someday. You’d think some smart producer would’ve thunk of that already.

    Robert Pattinson shares about half the movie with him in an odd but effective performance. Supposedly a halfwit, he’s surprisingly clever and sounds like he’s from the Deep South instead of the Aussie Outback. Mostly he’s not playing a vampire, so that’s progress.

    Freakshow Cast
    • Scoot McNairy as Pattinson’s cold blooded brother
    • David Field & Tawanda Manyimo as the brother’s violently dysfunctional gang
    • Chan Kien & Tek Kong Lim as two bent Karaoke guys
    • Gillian Jones as an Opium Den Mother
  4. Male Stars Perfect 5.0
  5. Female Stars Great 4.0
  6. Female Costars Very Good 3.5
  7. Male Costars Great 4.0
  8. Good 3.0

    David Michôd doesn’t shy away when people compare his post-apocalyptic Outback picture to George Miller’s1, declaring that his is “way more chillingly authentic and menacing.”2 Alright then mate…

    However, testosterone run amok in a post-apocalyptic and therefore post-moral world – enabled by situationally convenient surrealism – becomes tedious after awhile and ultimately turns ridiculous.

    The tedium isn’t helped by the fact that Michôd & Edgerton’s film is brooding in the extreme, even if extreme despondency is central to their high concept.

    1 Mad Max

    2 Michôd per Wikipedia

  9. Direction Very Good 3.5
  10. Play OK 2.5

    The Rover is also the title of Joseph Conrad’s last novel. Fitting

  11. Music Good 3.0
  12. Visuals Great 4.0
  13. Content
  14. Sordid 3.1

    Lots of senseless violence, followed by revenge violence, all of it done for maximum splatter factor.

    Savage as the violence is, the nasty language outscores it on the Edginess scale, 4.0 to 3.7.

  15. Sex Titillating 1.6
  16. Violence Savage 3.7
  17. Rudeness Nasty 4.0
  18. Surreal 2.4

    2.4x normal reality makes The Rover equally outré as The Road, well into the band of extreme surrealism.

  19. Circumstantial Surreal 2.5
  20. Biological Surreal 3.0
  21. Physical Glib 1.8


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