Australian director David Michod’s (“Animal Kingdom”) “The Rover” drills into the psyche of the damned; set in post-apocalyptic Australia. “Eric” (magnetically, fierce portrayal by Guy Pearce) whose sole mission is to retrieve his stolen car, partners with wounded “Ray” (pivotal, powerful, performance by Robert Pattinson), a stuttering, febrile, minimally- challenged psychopath, whose brother is one of the car thieves. This searing, brutally bizarre scenario, evolves in the vast, arid, inferno landscape of fly-infested Australia; morality flayed; decency, a myth of a bygone era.
“The Rover” sabotages audiences ethics, moral barometers; accountability is as dead as civilization; Eric and Ray represent the dregs, leftovers, living in a universe devoid of electricity, shelter, toothbrushes; guns, the single common denominator, tools of survival; blatant doom, when ammunition expires.
Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson depictions of men whose lives were snuffed before the film commenced are reason enough to see “The Rover” an ugly, violent episode of a time we’ve yet to taste; a future informed by a “god of carnage”.