Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Viggo Mortensen, Charlize Theron
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
From Cormac McCarthy, author of No Country For Old Men, comes the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of the beloved, best-selling and Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, The Road. An all-star cast are featured in this epic... more »
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Craig S. from WAUSAU, WI
Reviewed on 9/29/2013...
I didn't read the book, so my review is based on only what I saw in the movie.
PROS: Very gritty filming and 'feel' of a post-apocalyptic setting. Mortensen and company truly look grimy, nasty teeth, etc. For the most part, Viggo is a believable 'hero' for the story. Special effects are good and the actors seem to do well with what they are given. The story doesn't really get much into why the world ended as much as it studies the psychological impact on the survivors (however the special features trailers strongly suggest global climate change is the culprit). Probably one of the more severe apocalyptic scenarios I have seen in that ALL life other than bugs and humans are gone - there are apparently no plants or animals left alive on Earth. The survivors eke out a living by eating small insects, leftover canned goods from before, or eating each other.
CONS: Character motivation was really the greatest problem for me. Mortensen's character is strongly adverse to committing suicide and staying alive, but then frequently vacillates between nearly killing himself and his son in some situations. Oddly, his motivation to avoid suicide is not due to his faith, but his desire to 'find the good guys' and 'carry the fire' in his heart. Given that the screenplay very clearly shows an absence of faith by the characters (there is a scene where Viggo and son pray to 'people' rather than God, they sleep in a church that is strangely absent of all furniture - even the altar is gone, Duvall claims God has turned his back on them, etc.), one wonders WHY he believes so strongly in carrying on. Theron plays Mortensen's wife in flashbacks - she urged him to commit suicide many times, then finally kills her self by exposure . . . wandering off into the woods without a coat. Evidently, Mortensen just assumes she is dead and leaves with his son to head south.
I think the screenwriter tries to juxtapose the bleak future with some family clichés, but they end up falling flat or not making sense. Example: At one point, husband and wife are at the dinner table while the son plays in the next room. They argue about whether they should commit suicide, at which point Theron says "All the neighbors are doing it." This is almost comically stupid if it weren't for the constant pressure this movie keeps throughout of despair and hopelessness. Another moment comes when they encounter old man Duvall on the road and father and son have a discussion about whether they can 'keep him' as though he is like finding a stray dog. Mortensen's character has only two opportunities to treat others humanely, and in both cases he is makes a poor example of a 'good guy' for his son. This is probably to make his son seem more like the "God" that Viggo claims him to be, but it just seems out of character when not viewed through the literary prism.
There are action scenes, but Mortensen is not a combat monkey (except for when he hits a guy in a second story window with a flare gun at a range of probably 100 feet and kills him outright) and spends most of the movie running away to protect his son. Annoyingly, his son seemingly has to be carried through a lot of the movie - seems pretty wimpy and pathetic for a kid who has been surviving in the post-holocaust environment for YEARS. I guess I would expect a kid to be a little more resourceful and reliable if raised in that constant-threat environment for such a long time. One last issue - at one point Mortensen is boiling water in a hubcap and then straining though an old rag to drink it . . . I don't understand why he wouldn't just collect rain water from the nearly always present rainstorms that permeate the entire film.
Overall, this movie is clearly making an attempt to play to the interests of global warming disaster movies, as such a positive ending is not really the goal. The theme of the movie seems to be that humans were stupid and did this to themselves, so it makes it all the more difficult to buy into Mortensen's search for the 'good guys' and his prayers to 'people' during the film.
Watch this film for it's treatment of visual displays and costuming (which are excellent) - if you are a fan of zombie movies or action flicks, you should probably pass.
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Sean Y. (theseanster) from CLYDE, TX
Reviewed on 9/4/2013...
While the overall tone of the movie is depressing. I thought it was a very moving film. It really doesn't try to answer any questions, but instead asks the viewer the question "What would you do if you were placed in this situation?" It has a few extremely creepy parts that will forever be burned into my mind. One in particular, and it really is not because of what you see on screen, rather the horror of what you infer happens off screen.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
S A A. (Learned2Heal)
Reviewed on 1/1/2012...
I have to concur fully with a previous reviewer: this movie is seriously depressing and totally pointless. Also, when they are listing the genres, they should - in all fairness - include that this is also (more so) a horror movie. It gave me the creeps and there was no ray of hope at the end, as some of the reviews would lead one to believe. It leaves you wondering if the child is really (relatively) safe or not...
Finally, if you are going to see this movie because it promises a performance by Guy Pearce - don't hold your breath. He appears only at the very end, looking like a younger David Carradine, and only for about 2.5 minutes in all. If you are already depressed, I would caution you NOT to see this movie. It will not improve your mood at all. And that's stating it mildly...
2 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Robert G. (rural631) from SPRINGFIELD, MO
Reviewed on 10/9/2010...
Suicide is a constant theme in the movie. The movie is so depressing and pointless and the characters so miserable you'll start wishing they would.
3 of 6 member(s) found this review helpful.
"We're The Good Guys, They're The Bad Guys"
prisrob | New EnglandUSA | 11/29/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The stark, black and white, post-apocalyptic, world I pictured in my mind while reading Cormac McCarthy's 'The Road' is forever laid out in memory in the film by director, John Hillcoat. The real world after a series, of fires and disasters have destroyed the world we know, and 'The Road' is as visible a film as any I have seen.
Many rumors of this film and how it could never live up to the hype of the novel have been swirling through the Internet. What we have here is a masterpiece of a film. It is a powerful vision of a world ten years after some sort of disaster took over. The scenes were shot in post Katrina, New Orleans, Pittsburgh and what they call the 'Abandoned Pennsylvania Highway'. Into this harrowing world marches a man, played by Viggo Mortensen and his son, played by Kodi Smit-McPhee, trying to find their way to warmth. The coldness of the world is marked, and we can feel the chill. What they encounter is a horror filled world, one in which a group of cannibals keep a farm of humans with missing limbs in their basement. Gangs of marauders around every corner. We see their day to day existence, filthy as they march along, trying to scrape up food to keep alive. They find a house where a left over can of coke amazes the boy, he has never seen it before, and they gorge themselves with food before marching on once again. The stark reality of their life is measured against the gray world where everything is dying. And in this world, the man is teaching his son about goodness versus evil. What we come to see is that the love of this man for his son is the light that may keep this struggle alive. The absence of a God is evident. The pureness of the son may be the antidote.
Charlize Theron plays the mother in a small part, and she portrays the lack of hope that seems so evident throughout the film. Robert Duvall is the Old Man who conveys bits of wisdom. The son wants to help those who are crying for help, but his father tells him they must move on. They can only trust each other. This film is all about the father and his son. Viggo Mortensen is tremendous in this role, and he plays in every scene. The son is as he should be, watchful, hopeful, luminous at times.
The agony of the life that is left to the father and his son is conveyed with such realism. John Hillcoat has captured the feel and the look of the novel. It was difficult at times to keep watching, but then I had to watch. We all want the man and his son to succeed. They are our hope. "We're the good guys, they're the bad guys" is the message the father is conveying. But deep inside there is the hope that the boy and his father will find more.
Highly Highly Recommended. prisrob 11-29-09
A History of Violence (New Line Platinum Series)
The Proposition [Blu-ray]"
Moving, Excellent Film
Stephen Ashley | Florida, USA | 01/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I won't repeat the theme as other reviewers have done this. Though this film does take place in a very bleak and hopeless time as others have mentioned, it still projects hope and displays intense, dedicated love. This is much of what makes the movie as good as it is. In a time when there should be no hope, the father and son hold on to each other. They search for something that they have no right to hope in, a place where they can be safe and fed. It may not even exist, yet they take to the road despite the fact that many others have given up. They choose to hope.
The relationship between the father and son was so well acted that it was very believable. Viggo Mortenson played this father determined to protect his son with such a fierce passion and vulnerability that it was mesmerizing. The actor playing the son was just as fantastic. Vulnerable and innocent, with such trust of the father, reacting to the evil in the world, but still wanting to do good. It was moving.
This was a movie that makes you think. It showed that in desperate circumstances, some will give up and choose death, some will choose evil to survive, others will choose to do no harm while surviving, and still others will risk everything to do good despite what they're up against. It was very true to life.
This film was powerful, fascinating and well done, and I recommend it."
A hard film to like-slight spoilers
Val | RI | 03/23/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Someone asked me if I liked The Road, upon watching it. I had no answer. The Road is just one of those films that is too hard to describe. Is the movie good? Well, yes it is-that is a far easier question to answer. I have read the book and must say that the film really does it justice. It is bleak, dreary, utterly depressing and flawlessly acted.
Viggo Mortensen is a man with no name, who, alone with his son (also no name) is attempting to survive what seems to be some sort of apocalypse. We never see what transpired-we only see the aftermath. We are not given a timeline, though you can judge for yourself how long man and son have been attempting to 'live'. Mortensen carries the entire film on his weathered and weary shoulders. I cannot gush enough about his performance-in any film really. But here, you only have to look into his eyes-so full of soul and despair to realise that not only is this man acting, he is really and truly transformed. Just incredible really.
The atmosphere is grainy and desolate, without color of any kind and as you watch, you slowly go mad envisioning what you would do in such a situation. The film features horrors that include cannibalism and at one point, you see the father teach his son how to properly kill himself if anything should ever happen to him. Very disturbing.
By film's end, you are mentally exhausted. This is not a fast-paced film at all. It is purposefully slow-going and I believe that was done with the intent to transport you inside the film itself, and in my mind, it succeeds. After the credits started to roll, I found myself depressed for the rest of the day. This is probably one of the most desolate films I've ever seen, so I would avoid it if you like your films with satisfying ending-because this isn't it."