An epic post-apocalyptic tale of the survival of a father and his young son as they journey across a barren America that was destroyed by a mysterious cataclysm. It imagines a future in which men are pushed to the worst and the best that they are capable of — a future in which a father and his son are sustained by love.
Genres: Action/Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction/Fantasy and Adaptation; Running Time: 1 hr. 53 min.; Release Date: November 25th, 2009 (wide); MPAA Rating: R for some violence, disturbing images and language.;
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Guy Pearce, Molly Parker
Directed by: John Hillcoat
Lay and me had wanted to see this movie, but didn’t make it to the theater, and I’m glad we didn’t spend the money, having watched this as a TIVO download.
I keep reading reviews about this being an uplifting movie, a story of hope, yadayadayada. After watching that movie, we concluded that these reviewers either were completely high, wandered into the wrong theater by mistake, or thinks that Schindler’s List was a wacky comedy. The Road has to be one of the most depressing, pointless, excruciating movies you could ever see. It will make you want to go stick your head in the oven.
The first 7 hours of the movie contain an endless slog through a desolate landscape bereft of plant and animal life. Only bugs and humans remain, somehow. Everything else on Earth has been burnt or smashed by some unacknowledged Doomsday Event. The director leaves it up to the audience to somehow figure out what kind of reasonable scientific explanation could account for anyone surviving for any amount of time after all the oxygen-producing plant life plus everything else in the food chain between bugs and people bit the dust.Apparently the wife, prior to offing herself early in the movie (I can’t really blame her), urges them to go south, and the planet is apparently cooling. Well, that makes sense, but going south seems to turn into heading for the ocean, and I am yet to figure what that accomplished, other than giving Mortensen’s character an appropriate place to die.
Dad also seems to make poor survival decisions. The poorest decision comes when the two find a friggin’ BOMB SHELTER FILLED WITH FOOD AND WARM BEDS, but after a couple days they need to abandon it because they heard somebody walking around up top. Apparently this is the only bomb shelter in existence that didn’t come with a lock on the hatch, and everyone knows how easy it is for a starving bum to breach a cement bunker with a steel trap door on it. It’s much easier to pile a bunch of crap in an old push wagon and hit the road again to defend it in the open air against every marauder and sneak thief that walks by, while you slowly die from exposure. The apocalypse happened six or more years ago, but once arriving at the beach, Dad has to swim out to “check it out,” because, you know, no one else would have though to over those six years.
Once the Dad has died, just coincidentally, an oily dangerous looking guy brandishing a gun comes walking up the beach. He’s subsequently joined by his family, and the Mom tells him they have been following him. I never figured out why. Then the music soars, and even though the world continues to slowly die, somehow everything is now supposed to be OK.
This movie was a big disappointment. There were attempts to create scenes for the Oscar voters where the writer and director tried to raise moral points, but they all fell flat. The acting wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t spectacular either, as the parts just didn’t call for any great acting. I guess I wouldn’t say don’t watch it, as it apparently appealed to a lot of people, just be prepared.