Movie Review: The Road

Details from IMDB:

The Road Poster

 

The Road (2009)

R 111 min  -  Adventure | Drama  -   2 December 2009 (France)

Ratings: 7.3/10 from 90,060 users   Metascore: 64/100
Reviews: 406 user | 325 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

A post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son trying to survive by any means possible.

Director:

John Hillcoat

Writers:

Cormac McCarthy (novel), Joe Penhall (screenplay)

Stars:

Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron and Kodi Smit-McPhee | See full cast and crew

Initial thoughts:

Viggo is a great actor in my opinion (it’s kind of a requirement for a geek, he was Aragorn after all Winking smile) and anyone who reads this blog knows I love Charlize Theron, so I finally got a chance to watch this last week. I did also look good to me as it is post-apocalyptic tale.

Main Points:

As always no plot summary. This movie is unique in that none of the character even have any names! The Man (Viggo) is simply trying to survive in this horrible future world and bring his son to the southern coast of the US to fulfill the last wish of his wife (Theron, who is underused in this film).

To say the world has gone to hell would be an understatement. It is never explained but it seems like some kind of nuclear war or other disaster happened 7-8 years ago and now the earth is dying. People travel sometimes in roaming gangs who scourge for food, equipment, clothes and most disturbing give those they find a choice, join them or be eaten.

Cannibalism is rampant in the world and there is a very disturbing scene where the Man and his boy find a house full of people locked in the basement who are obviously a food source. Other people resort to stealing anything they can to survive but there are a few who cling to some degree of moral behaviour.

To say the film is dark would be an understatement. I watched it with my parents on an older TV and I had to stop it to turn the brightness up. I’m certain this was what the director wanted but still it was a little annoying.

Generally I agreed with every decision the Man makes. At one point, however, they find a bomb shelter on the property of a house. There is food, it’s shelter and they can even go into the house during the day to clean up and get water. One night though the Man thinks he here’s people and a dog. So he gets worried and they move it. To me this looks like rampant paranoia and it seems crazy to leave. I suppose the point was that he has been traveling so often and for so long that he just can’t be comfortable anymore.

SPOILER ALERT!

After the Man suffers and narrowly escapes being captured, eaten or being crushed by trees (there is also constant earthquakes) somehow manages to get his kid to the ocean only to die from some kind of lung infection. The kid ends up with another couple (who have children) and seem to be good people.

The wife just snaps and walks off into the night (this is before they left to go on the road) and we are left to assume she suffered some kind of breakdown. Why the Man didn’t go after her is a mystery to me.

Final Thoughts:

The ending does at least provide a little glimmer of hope. And the boy passes on the father’s idea of “carrying the fire inside”. I would recommend this movie if for no other reason that the strong performance of Viggo. 7/10 from me. Next will finally be my review of the new Spiderman movie.Open-mouthed smile Until then I am…

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