Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Chris Pérez, Selena’s Husband, Faces His Past and Looks Forward, Musically

Music: Chris Pérez never saw it coming. “All I ever wanted to do was play guitar,” he told the Current. “I never thought I’d be the subject of an interview... By Enrique Lopetegui 8/28/2013
Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Chris Perez, husband of slain Tejana icon Selena, tells of romance, suffering

Arts & Culture: In one of the final chapters of his book To Selena, With Love (out March 6), Selena's widower Chris Perez mentions that Abraham Quintanilla, his former father-in-law, once... By Enrique Lopetegui 3/7/2012
Veg Out with Earth Burger

Veg Out with Earth Burger

Food & Drink: “Do you want cheese on that?” “Yeah, sure.” “Vegan or organic?” “Um, what? Where am I?” By Jessica Elizarraras 7/23/2014
Savage Love: The Boys in the Bandwidth

Savage Love: The Boys in the Bandwidth

Arts & Culture: I am a gay man and have been in a relationship with my GGG boyfriend for more than three years. We are in our early 20s and have a... By Dan Savage 7/23/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

Screens

Robert Pattinson and Guy Pearce in the Dystopic Down Under of 'The Rover'

Photo: Courtesy A24, License: N/A

Courtesy A24

Pearce and Pattinson contemplate the best way to kill some guys, and also the best way to extinguish a campfire in the desert


Another year, another grim thriller set in a dystopian future. This time (again), it’s Australia. Based on years of cinematic evidence, the land down under is the place you go to escape drug dealers (Crocodile Dundee II), commune with talking animals (Babe) or get your ass shot off (everything else).  

That’s incredibly reductive, but is there a better place to set a dystopian future than Australia? This is a country with animals that can kill a person if he looks at them askance. Why not assume its arid regions will invite a kind of human nastiness, too, especially after the implosion of the global economy?  

David Michôd’s The Rover is set “10 years after the collapse,” and though context reveals little, it’s clear that the collapse brought about the collapse of everything—food, shelter, government and reasonable expectations of police protection. The human landscape depicted in The Rover is as bleak as the desert in which it takes place.  

In this landscape is Eric (Guy Pearce), a taciturn man whose face looks haunted. By what, it isn’t clear, but when we first see him sitting in his car, gnats and flies buzzing around his face, we know he’s beaten down. By life. By the collapse. By whatever.  

He enters a makeshift bar and helps himself to a drink and a splash of cool water while the proprietor looks on holding a shotgun. Moments later we’re in a car with three criminals hightailing it away from a shootout. Henry (Scoot McNairy, who seems born to play roles like this) is shouting, blood streaming from a bullet wound in his leg. “My brother!” he screams.  

That brother, Rey (Robert Pattinson), has been left for dead by the trio. Henry, in his anger and rage, lashes out at his accomplice Archie (David Field) in the backseat, and before long their vehicle overturns and flies by the bar where Eric drinks. The criminals pull themselves together, break into Eric’s car and the commotion causes Eric to leave his stool. When he sees the men driving off, he hastily gets their vehicle back into working condition and takes off after them.  

The following car chase is thrilling and unusual, as Eric gains on them, nearly overtakes them, and slows down as Archie points a gun at him. When they realize Eric won’t quit, they stop. Eric approaches, demands his car’s return and, as he’s about to turn Archie into Swiss cheese, Henry whacks him over the head with a shotgun. Like Rey, they leave Eric for dead.  

Mistake. If you’ve seen the trailer, you know Eric is a man with nothing to lose, and he makes no pretense of being anything but a desperate and, if need be, violent person. By chance, Eric crosses paths with Rey, and they form an uneasy alliance to find Henry and the others.  

There are many coincidences in The Rover, and that’s its one shortcoming. But in a land where petrol is hard to come by, it’s believable that people will cross paths again and again, if only because they can’t travel easily.  

Recently in Screens & Tech
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus