Review of "The Rover (DVD)"

published 28/01/2017 | thedevilinme
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Cons No real story
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"'Not everything has to be about something'"

The Rover (DVD)

The Rover (DVD)

Star – Guy Pearce
Genre – Thriller
Run Time – 103 minutes
Certificate – 18R
Country – Australia
Awards – 3 Wins & 19 nominations
Amazon – £2.90 DVD £6.09 Blue Ray
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So where has Guy Pearce been of late? Well the Anzac star of Memento and LA Confidential is back in Australia where he grew up (he is actually British born, leaving when he was 3) for his last three movies and maybe a sign his big Hollywood career maybe running down. He is not conventionally handsome and never quite the leading man the way Russell Crowe and Mel Gibson were from Down Under but still a class act and has real presence on screen. Maybe he thinks the Australian film making scene is back on a high and looking for awards and maybe they can afford him now.

The Rover is directed by David Michod who has been around a while but delivered the rather visceral and brutally tense Melbourne gangster flick Animal Kingdom to make his mark. If you haven’t seen that movie you should guys. You always get interesting and quirky films from Australia and I am always on the look out for them. This is certainly that. Its not one I can recommend to all but one for those film fans who like something different and atmospheric.


Guy Pearce ... Eric
Tawanda Manyimo ... Caleb
Scoot McNairy ... Henry
David Field ... Archie
Robert Pattinson ... Rey
Ben Armer ... Benny
Gillian Jones ... Grandma
Jamie Fallon ... Colin
Frank C. Su …Midget


10 years on from a global economic collapse that caused worldwide turmoil, the Australian Outback is once again a lawless wasteland, crime and poverty running amok and barely governed by small army patrols, attempting to maintain what little law and order are left. After an armed robbery goes wrong, criminals Archie (David Field), Caleb (Tawanda Manyimo) and Henry (Scoot McNairy) flee, leaving behind Henry's injured and retarded brother Rey (Robert Pattinson) in the dirt. While driving away, the idiots crash the truck they hotwired. Archie decides to steal a random car outside of a bar belonging to mysterious loner Eric (Guy Pearce). Bad idea. He is not happy, jumping in the crashed truck and closing them down to a slow stop. When Eric confronts them he is sparked out and awakes with his car gone again.

He drives the truck into the nearest town and asks if anyone has seen the men. He buys a gun off a dwarf from a travelling Chinese circus (as you do) and then discovers Rey slumped and bleeding on the truck. Taking sympathy on the kid he takes him to a backstreet doc (Susan Prior) to get him fixed up. The traveling circus members are seeking revenge for not paying for the gun and on their door. After a shootout Eric and Rey hit the road in search of his car as the two begin to bond as opposites attract somehow. A showdown is coming and there is going to be some killing, the army also hot on their heels as both Eric and Rey now have a bounty on their heads as the sun beats down hard. But why is he so keen to find a rusting old Holden?

Eric: ‘You should never stop thinking about a life you've taken. That's the price you pay for taking’.


It’s OK and something different. I got enough out of it. There is no real narrative going on other than watching a lugubrious Guy Pearce wander around the dusty outback with a gun and stubble looking all mysterious but moments to enjoy. Blowing the midgets brains out was one of them. There is no ryhme or reason for the killing and the ending doesn’t seem to provide any obvious answers to why he is angry. The destination doesn't feel worth the journey is the best way to describe this. Would you kill a man over a rusty car? But that’s the premise and off we go. It’s kinda like Mad Max without the souped up cars, chase scenes, stunning Red Center panoramas and Mel Gibson. The Australian countryside is always atmospheric in movies but strangely not here. It could easily have been the rather dull Texas scrub desert if the truth be told. One of the most appealing things about Aussie movies is always that enigmatic countryside and its stunning and dangerous wildlife.

Pearce is good and Robert Pattinson (yes, that Robert Pattinson) unrecognizable doing an admirable retard. Because his character is a little slow it enables the ruthless killing to be more palatable and relevant through that disconnect. Its bleakness also allows the film to wander aimlessly in the way ‘The Road’ did as we wait for the next confrontation and head scratching violence. You hope some story would weave its way in or a twist or two on the long straight sun bleached roads but no such luck as the film concentrates on the relationship between the two men. Clearly something terrible has happened to Eric and his family a decade or so ago and he is a hollow man who care little for anything anymore because of but that vacancy feeds through to the equally opaque film.

It bombed in the Aussie and US cinema for its $8.5million budget pulling just $3.2m back. It’s co-written with Joel Edgerton (Warrior and The Gift) and the director wrote the part especially for Guy Pearce. You get the feeling this film was made by the three of them as a vanity project as clearly strange a film with Twighlight superstar in it should not have lost money and so the film must have been poorly marketed due to budget issues. You can envisage Pearce and Pattinson saying they will do it because of the director and the directors and writer saying we will only do it with we can get Pearce and Pattinson. Trouble is, that is all it is.

RATINGS – /10.0 (votes) – 66% critic’s approval – 64% critic’s approval


Special Features

-Something Elemental: The Making Of.

Behind the scenes look at this rather vacant little movie.

-Deleted Scenes-

Quite a few



Cast & crew talking heads. It appears they are mostly mates and doing each other a favor.


Entertainment Weekly –‘Bleak, brutal, and ultimately pointless, the film stars Guy Pearce as a man whose car is stolen and who won't rest until he not only gets it back but also punishes, with extreme prejudice, the dirtbags who took it.’

Film4 –‘A cautionary tale with deceptive genre trappings, The Rover is an unconventional, challenging but rewarding watch with riveting performances and assured direction’.

Financial Times –‘Brutal as it is, The Rover evolves into a strange kind of buddy movie. Squint and you might be watching a nihilistic Rain Man’.

Toronto Sun –‘Of Mice and Men at the end of the world -- that's the general turf of The Rover’.

The Film Stage –‘Michôd has created a frighteningly realistic apocalyptic western that's entirely his own’.

Bangkok Post –‘While Michôd may not achieve that transcendental awakening in the vagabonds of this god-forsaken country, they've braved through enough hellfire for us to have mercy, and to care about them. –‘A scabrous, tightly drawn chase drama—even if, ultimately, the narrative doesn't lead anywhere particularly new’.

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Comments on this review

  • euphie published 02/02/2017
    e :o)
  • ravingreviewer published 30/01/2017
  • kiss_me2070 published 30/01/2017
    Well reviewed.
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Product Information : The Rover (DVD)

Manufacturer's product description

Product Details

Actor(s): Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy

DVD Region: DVD

Video Category: Feature Film

Director(s): David Michôd

EAN: 5030305518400

Classification: 15 years and over

Production Year: 2014


Listed on Ciao since: 19/01/2017