It’s been rumored for weeks now that The Rover—David Michod’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated 2010 feature debut Animal Kingdom—would be playing at Cannes. But it wasn’t slotted in the competition lineup; it was announced today that The Rover will be one of this year’s Cannes midnight films, which probably says something about what kind of movie it is: reportedly a quasi-homage to the Mad Max series, with Guy Pearce playing a wronged everyman who sets out across the ravaged Australian wilderness to get back what a band of raiders stole from him.
Here’s a taste of what Australian writer-director Michod has in store, as seen in The Rover’s first trailer:
The trail of the tape
Title: The Rover
Director: David Michod
Screenwriter: David Michod
Cast: Guy Pearce, Robert Pattinson, Scoot McNairy, Nash Edgerton
Release date: June 13, 2014
Tagline: “Fear the man with nothing left to lose.”
The entire trailer in one line of dialogue: “God feels nothing for you. The only thing that means anything right now is that I’m here.”
The entire trailer in one screengrab:
I liked Animal Kingdom, though I did feel it was overly derivative of other gritty crime-family movies, and that it suffered from having a passive protagonist. The Rover looks a little derivative, too, and Pearce seems fairly passive early in the trailer. But that changes as soon as he latches on to the gang member (played by Robert Pattinson) whom he thinks can get him to the boss he means to confront. Plus, there’s a promising philosophical tinge to the snippets of conversation between the hero and his reluctant companion, as they debate who’s in charge and whether any kind of authority figure—earthly or otherwise—will judge their actions and give them comfort.