Movie Review: The Rover

Guy Pearce is one of those actors that should be a bigger star. The guy shines in roles such as Memento, L.A. Confidential and The King’s Speech yet is still left off Hollywood’s A-list when it comes to big roles. The guy doesn’t seem to have personal issues, receives praise from his costars and has one an Emmy for Mildred Pierce. Still Pearce gets stuck playing a second-rate villain in Iron Man 3 or stuck in the cheap looking Sci-Fi action thriller Lockout. This time around in Australian film import The Rover, Pearce gets to show off his stoic and ruthless badass side as man looking to reclaim his property in the Australian Outback.

The Rover takes place in Australia ten years after society had crumbled. No asteroids, aliens, zombies or nukes that caused this apocalypse. Our human greed has turned the world into the wild, wild west where everyone literally wants to kill you for the shirt off your back. Imagine if Mad Max got The Dark Knight treatment dropping the leather and spiked hockey masks. Instead of thunder dome we get a real look at a person with nothing left to lose who is trying to survive in a place that was already third world to begin with before society collapsed. No laws or legal enforcers. Just a guy who wants his compact car back from the people who boosted it. The Rover foreshadows what could be in store for the world if we don’t get our acts together.

Pearce gives one intense and scary performance in The Rover. Pearce hardly says a word for the first part of the film, but his actions speak for him. The Rover does not shy away from the violence or the lack of morality in our hero of the story. Pearce’s drifter is a silent force as he cares for no one, including himself and his hostage Rey played by Robert Pattinson. As great as Pearce is, the problems with Pattinson’s performance prevents The Rover from being a great film.

If you’ve kept up with my reviews over the last few years, you know I’ve been hard on the Twilight franchise. The Twilight series may be garbage, but I’m always willing to give people a second chance and that includes Edward Cullen himself. Unfortunately, Pattinson doesn’t’ wash away the stink from Twilight with this performance. Pattinson plays Rey, the dim-witted hostage that Pearce’s Eric takes hostage in hopes of finding his stolen items. Pattinson gives us one of the worst white trash american accents I have ever seen on film. You can’t understand him and his acting is laughable for most of the film. Why wouldn’t you just make Pattinson character Australian? Problem solved. Instead we get a terrible performance that hurts The Rover and prevents Pearce from breaking out once again. Even with the shoddy performance from Pattinson, The Rover is still an interesting film experience. I just think it could have been better without Pattinson’s attempt at an American southern accent.

Overall, I give The Rover 2.75 out of 4 stars.

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