Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

"The Rover": Dude, Where's My Post-Apocalyptic Landscape? 

Wednesday, Jun 18 2014

By now the world needs another after-the-apocalypse movie only slightly more than it needs an actual apocalypse. Yet Animal Kingdom director David Michôd will not be denied his lawless near-future Outback, where tough violent men drive really dirty trucks and society no longer functions. Neither does his movie after about 20 minutes, except maybe as hoarse shout-out to the likes of Mad Max and The Road. Co-written by the director and Joel Edgerton, The Rover comes on very strong, then sputters, then takes too long to die. Within its flimsy braid of barely developed set pieces, a scruffy, angry Guy Pearce becomes scruffier and angrier when someone steals his car, and tries murderously hard to get it back. Robert Pattinson meanwhile tries murderously hard to be an actor, or at least to rebrand himself. It's not clear why his character is an American hillbilly simpleton, but the movie itself seems to say, "Whatever." What makes these dusty dystopias so boring nowadays is that everyone in them is for some reason or another completely fearless. They ask for trouble, and get it, and there you go. Michôd enjoys contriving violence, and making us wait for Pearce to work up a tear, and all that's left to say about The Rover is that as a shaggy dog story, it has a fitting payoff.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed
  1. Most Popular


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"