Thursday, March 17, 2011

The Road

Netflix sez...
2009 R 111 minutes
From the ash-covered, post-apocalyptic remains of Appalachia, the Father (Viggo Mortensen) and Son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) take to the road in search of a better life. But the Father's health is failing, lending urgency to a journey impeded by nomadic bands of cannibals. Charlize Theron co-stars in this adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, set in a fictional near future in which the world has been virtually destroyed.

The 73rd Virgin sez...
A perfectly good adaptation of an overrated novel. I think all the hoity-toity literary critics had never read apocalyptic science fiction, so this seemed alarmingly original to them. Anyway, about the movie, the acting is fine and the little boy is very good playing the character from the book. The problem is that a little boy born after the Big One and raised by his survivalist father would hopefully be capable of more than wetting himself and crying "Papa" - loudly and ill-advisedly - every time something bad happens. Mark Twain must be rolling in his grave. Why not just make him a girl cheerleader in a slasher movie?

As much as I admire the production, unless you've been born to, suckled on, and fed a steady diet of the grimmest, grayest cinematic Euro navel gazing, with a hefty portion of action-free post-apocalyptic gloom, there's just not much of a way to connect with this movie. More depressing than Bergman's "Shame", which is saying something. It ends like the book, with just the slimmest sliver of a chance of redemption. All else that awaits you is the coldest clay of the grave and the darkest night of the soul.

A toast to the commitment of those who made it. Nick Cave's score is very good. Mortensen is amazing. And, yes, it blows the pants off "Book of Eli". 4 out of 5 stars.

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