The Rover (15)

Directed by David Michod
Picturehouse, Liverpool
From 15th August 2014

Reviewed by Colin Serjent

Set in the Australian outback this atmospheric thriller - shot on Super 35 film and not, as so often these days, on digital - is based ten years from now, in a post-apocalyptic world.

As such these are desperate times for all concerned, including tough nut and loner Eric, impressively played by Guy Pearce. When we first see him he looks completely absorbed within himself, beaten up inside, oblivious to what is going on around him in a desolate ramshackle 'bar'.

But he comes to life and a cause to pursue when his car is stolen by a trio of gangsters while he is having a drink.

Nothing will deter him from his goal in getting his old jalopy back. It never transpires why he is so desperate to retrieve the car, even when fired upon by the robbers.

Although Pearce fits the bill as the idiosyncratic but violent character he plays - he never uses two words when one will suffice - Robert Pattinson as Rey, the brother of one of the gangsters, who was left for dead in their latest heist, turns in a sterling performance as the "half-wit", as Eric describes him, who had basically kidnapped him, to aid his search for the gang.

Pattinson is charismatic as the anxiety-ridden and vulnerable character, and has a twitchy finger when he is holding a gun!

Director David Michod (Animal Kingdom) spent seven weeks in the South Australian town of Marree creating this film, with all the cast and crew living in shipping containers, estranged from the outside world. This detachment from 'real life' is vividly transmitted throughout the movie, lending it a strange, powerful sign of what may confront mankind in the not too distant future.

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