While Michael Bay’s Transformers: Age of Extinction is easily the next big sci-fi movie on the agenda, before that spectacle explodes all over the world in a little less than two weeks, there’s one more that we’re rather excited for: David Michod’s (Animal Kingdom) The Rover. This bleak post-apocalyptic tale makes movies like Mad Max look downright festive when held up in comparison, and it’s also the latest addition to my running list of favorite movies of the year. This new short spot paints a grim, desolate picture, but one that is an accurate depiction of the film.
The one possible bit of misrepresentation in this video from the film’s Facebook page, is that you get the distinct impression that this is an action movie, or at least action heavy. It isn’t. There are shootouts and scenes that are best described as car chases, but instead of playing them as straight action, Michod, who also wrote the screenplay, stages everything for tension, not frantic movement. Every single element is designed to create an atmosphere full of tight pressure. This is not a lighting fast movie. The Rover is a deliberate, gradual burn, methodical in every detail, especially when it comes to pace.
The story revolves around Eric (Guy Pearce), a traveller on the lawless frontier of Australia ten years after a massive economic collapse leaves the country in turmoil. When a trio of outlaws on the run steals his car, he embarks on a journey to get it back. Along the way he picks up Ray (Robert Pattinson), a simple man-child who is far too soft for this world, and happens to be the brother of one of the carjackers. Shot and left for dead, Ray is also in search of his brother and former companions.
Pearce barely speaks in The Rover, but when he does, he says the type of grizzled shit you expect out of the mouth of someone who has been through what he obviously has in his time on the road. Pattinson is the talker of the duo, filling in the silence with words because his simple mind can’t handle the silence and being left alone with the things he’s done.
The Rover is already playing in New York and Los Angeles, but opens in a wider release this Friday, June 20. I can’t tell you how happy it makes me to know that some diehard Twilight fans are going to walk into this blindly and be totally traumatized.