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Review The Rover

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AgentPete

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Just when you thought it was safe to stop cowering from dark, dystopian fantasies... along comes another one. The Rover is nasty, brutish and long. Too long.

Like most dystopiaverses, The Rover posits an essentially bleak, Hobbesian view of human nature – that without traffic wardens, TV license enforcements officers and ticket inspectors, men will stop shaving, women will gleefully sell their grandchildren into prostitution and we will all fire off M16s at any dwarf who dares to cross our path. All of which really does happen in The Rover.

The calamity that precipitates all this calumny is never even slightly explained: original when Cormac McCarthy first did it, but now a bit shop-soiled. Come on guys, I need a bit more hearty narrative than this minimalist, nouvelle cuisine approach to storytelling.

Most of all, I’m fed up of this dreary, predictable and proto-fascist view of human nature. I’m fed up of receiving simulacra book proposals based on this threadbare old cliché of a plot. And I’m fed up of sitting through grandiloquent films such as this, whose characters I don’t care about and whose story, if that is what one can call it, moves in geological time.

There are some mildly effective set-pieces, always involving gory and sadistic gun-play, that really belong more in drama school than in a grown-up movie. Robert (“Twilight”) Pattinson isn’t nearly as bad as some reviews would have you believe, even with a delivery that is half Deliverance and half Forrest Gump.

Is there still some mileage left in the dystopian concept, I wonder? Maybe – but don’t look for it here.
 
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