The Rover (DVD) – Movie Review
Follow Genre: Drama
Director: David Michôd
Distributor: eOne

The Rover (DVD) – Movie Review

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Good: Acting performances, movie gets better near the end
Bad: Shallow, bland, no character development, no background information
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Movies that try to do something different than the mainstream ones are mostly praiseworthy for doing their own thing. However, sometimes, the movie doesn’t quite turn out as an enjoyable experience. Although The Rover did its very best to stand out, the formula didn’t quite turn out to be the best one. Here’s why.


The Rover takes place 10 years after the “collapse” as the movie so kindly tells you at the start. What the collapse exactly is? No idea. Don’t expect an answer for this further down the movie because you won’t get one. This is one of the examples where the plot is told in a very mysterious way which one the one hand, keeps things interesting as you keep wondering what might’ve happened exactly. On the other hand though, every movie needs some kind of baseline to start from. In The Rover, that baseline is paper thin and that’s no exaggeration. Even the main characters Eric and Rey (played by Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson respectively) are like ghosts. They provide almost zero background information; you don’t know why the one is a depressed, empty shell of a man and why the other is laying half-dead on the ground. Nothing is ever really explained which makes it really hard to get a grasp on the situation. On the positive side, this kind of mysteriousness keeps the viewer interested as he or she will be thinking about a whole load of possible scenarios that led to this kind of world.


Apart from the whole “collapse” thing, there’s only one real storyline in this movie. A car. Yes, you read that right, a car is the most important object in the whole movie (hence the title of The Rover). Some thugs crash their jeep while they seem to be on the run from something and as Eric is enjoying a drink in a bar, he witnesses how those rascals steal his car. From then on, his sole mission consists of chasing after the bandits and retrieving his possession. On the way, he meets Rey, a mentally challenged boy who turns out to be one of the thugs’ brother. Eric decides that his best chance at finding his car is by dragging Rey along. And so they journey together from that point on.

Throughout the movie, you’ll see the unconformable relationship between Rey and Eric develop but their conversations are very shallow and you’ll barely witness any character development which is a shame as this is one of the reasons it’s hard to care for the characters. There’re some more emotional moments present between Eric and Rey, but they can’t really overcome the general feeling that you don’t care what happens to the two men.


Unfortunately, all these remarks cause the movie to feel very bland and shallow and it’s hard to prevent your concentration from drifting off. Only when the movie is as good as done, events happen that shake you awake pretty quickly and where you’ll think: damn that’s something else, but by then, the viewer has already sat through a quite unsatisfying storyline.

The cast isn’t very big as you’ll mostly hang around with Eric and Rey, pursuing the car. Guy Pearce plays his dark character pretty well but it’s a shame we don’t see more emotions from his personage in the movie, but of course, that’s not Pearce’s fault. Robert Pattinson delivers a great performance with his inconvenient role as a mentally challenged young fellow. Sometimes he tries a bit too hard and exaggerates the handicap of the boy but overall, his acting is certainly praiseworthy. Apart from those two actors, there’s another person worth mentioning namely Gillian Jones who plays an old lady whom Eric comes across in his journey. She really plays her part convincingly and you can tell that the whole collapse has messed her character up pretty bad.



The Rover tries its very best to do something different than other movies but fails in keeping the plot interesting enough to watch it through without the occasional yawn. There’s no explanation for almost everything of importance that happens or already happened and you won’t find a lot of character development with the main protagonists. Acting wise, Pattinson delivers a good performance but tends to overdo it on certain times. Overall, this movie is not suited for those who look for a satisfying story or a deep character progression as you won’t find either in The Rover. If you’re an open-minded movie watcher, then you might consider giving this a try but otherwise I’d suggest looking for entertainment elsewhere.

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