Patching him up, Eric impassively promises he'll dispose of Rey once he has helped led him to his brother. The young man seems to casually acquiesce to this and the two set out to retrieve Eric's motor. A large part of The Rover's appeal stems from Michôd refraining from adding anything in the way of backstory or explanation into the catastrophic chain of events which have caused the devastation. The director instead drip-feeds the audience small but revealing details about the characters and the fractured world they inhabit. He takes two well-established cinematic devices (the odd couple and the road movie) and uses them to thoughtful and nuanced effect, getting the very best from his actors.
Pearce has never been better as the haunted and disturbed protagonist, but it's Pattinson who almost steals the show. Saddled with a thick and garbled Southern US brogue, he completely loses himself within the role, and even if he's little more than a slow-witted hick, Pattinson's performance manages to invoke sympathy from the audience, even when things take a decidedly dark turn. An indelible jaunt into the heart of darkness, Michôd has fashioned an very worthy follow-up to Animal Kingdom (2010). The Rover is a bleak and downbeat endeavour, yet it's also an extremely rewarding and ultimately moving one.
Adam Lowes | @adlow76