Two unlikely travelling companions traverse the existential badlands of the Australian outback in Animal Kingdom director David Michôd’s intense and atmospheric picture of the lucky country gone feral.
Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
“The promise of Australian director David Michôd’s debut feature, Animal Kingdom, is amply realized in The Rover, a post-apocalyptic road movie of sorts set a decade after some unspecified cataclysm has turned the world – or at least one far-off corner of it – into a mercenary no-man’s-land. Tipping its hat to George Miller’s Mad Max trilogy while striking a more somber, introspective tone, Michôd’s sophomore feature isn’t exactly something we’ve never seen before, but it has a desolate beauty all its own, and a career-redefining performance by Robert Pattinson… Exactly what has gone wrong in the world… is never explicitly stated here; nor are the motivations of the film’s taciturn central character, Eric (Guy Pearce), up until a deftly handled and unexpectedly moving final scene. All we know for most of The Rover is that Eric really, really wants to regain ownership of his car… Those looking for big action and bombast will inevitably be disappointed, but Michôd (who also wrote the script, based on a story he conceived with actor-writer-director Joel Edgerton) strikes an eerie, unsettling tension early on and rarely lets go.” — Scott Foundas, Variety