There are cavernous ideas resting under the surface of writer-director David Michôd's “The Rover.” What would happen if there was an actual global fallout? Michôd allows theories on economic implosion, geographic relocation, a societal reversion to linger in the background, his setup, “10 Years After the Collapse,” merely a cloudy backdrop for a revenge thriller.
Actor Guy Pearce took a unique approach to embodying Michôd's Australian dystopia. He ignored it. As a man hunting down three car thieves, Pearce's “Eric” is driven by ambiguous determination. He's compassionate and murderous, meticulous and frenzied. He's too humane to leave behind Reynolds (Robert Pattinson), one of the thieves' brothers he discovers bleeding out on the side of the road, but if the simple man crosses him, Eric's finger is on a pistol trigger.
In the above exclusive clip from the upcoming “Rover” Blu-ray, Pearce speaks frankly on his method to capturing such an impassioned dystopian figure. “The world around me, how it looked in the future, wasn't relevant,” he explains. For Pearce it was all about Eric's dense emotional state, regressing to an almost primitive state. It's not a performance that will get much love at the end of the year – there's no clear hook, no scene-chewing extravagance – but that's how Pearce wanted it, more a reflection of Michôd's impenetrable world than the actor may even know.
“The Rover” arrives on Blu-ray and DVD Sept. 23.