The Road (2009)

I told the boy when you dream about bad things happening, it means you’re still fighting and you’re still alive. It’s when you start to dream about good things that you should start to worry.

— The Man

Finally, I saw The Road. It has had a difficult journey to its opening. It was supposed to be released in November of 2008, but The Weinstein Company decide to push it back a year so they could focus on The Reader. It was supposed to come out October 2009 then it was bumped back to Thanksgiving. When Thanksgiving came, it was nowhere to be found, because it was in limited release. I had to search to find a theater that was showing it. This movie was lost in the shuffle. I don’t know why.

An unexplained catastrophe has happened to the Earth where plants and animals have been wiped out years before. Days blur into one another as a handful of people are struggling to survive in a post-apocalyptic world where there is limited food, and acts of cannibalism running rampant throughout the land. The Man (Viggo Mortensen) and the Boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) travel around the desolate landscape to find some semblance of life.

Sometimes the action flashes back to after the catastrophe happen when the Wife (Charlize Theron) urges the family to commit mass suicide like the other families in the area. The Man does not want to do that. She doesn’t share his optimism for humanity running amok outside that could come into their house kill the wife, rape the son and eat them. She decides to leave her family to walk into the wintry night.

The Man and Boy come upon a farmhouse to find a shred of food, but they find a family hanging by nooses. The Man makes an impulse to use their last remaining bullets on their pistols to end their lives. Somehow, this plan is scraped the Man decided to conserve their last two bullets. It might have been a good thing, because when they rest in an abandoned car they hear a gang bus coming in the distance. They hide in the woods for the gang to pass looking for fuel and food.

When one of the gang members (Garret Dillahunt) is taking a piss out in the woods, he discovers the duo cowering down a ridge. The Man asks the Gang Member to leave them alone to go on their way. The Gang Member tests the Man. He shoots the Gang Member in the head when the man threatens the Boy with a knife. They escape deep into the words when the gang scours the woods to the people that killed their fellow member.

The duo are continuing to head South for the shoreline for some signs a civilized life to counteracts the savagery they see everyday fighting hunger, going to days without taking a bath. When they do get a bright light in the form of a mansion of the road, they are able to have the basic necessaries like food, hot water, clean clothes or toothpaste.

Their joy is short lived when the Man hears a strange noise in the house, thinking that it is another looter is coming to kill them. They decide to leave, but happen upon a legally blind man, Ely (Robert Duvall). The Boy wants to help the Blind Man, but the Man is hesitant to give him their last remaining food to him. The men talk about the how the world collapses as foretold by the Blind Man and humanity is lost. The blind man leaves.

The father and son decide to keep going south. They have to get to the coast before they starve, are captured by refugees or worse.

Some movies work better in books, because the subject is too much for the typical moviegoers. Damn, this movie is depressing. It is bleak and dark. No hope. Nothing. I wish for those flashbacks more often. If the apocalypse happened tomorrow, I want to be the ones mercifully killed. If I had to endure the endless sorrow, I couldn’t take it.

The world is gray, dirty, bleak, and vile. The only color you will see in this film is fire, flares and patches of spilled blood. The movie constantly punishes the viewer with it’s stark imagery, the terrain blackened by fires, the trash, the abandoned cars, etc.

Judgment: This movie shows you that the bond between father and son will be tested.

Rating: ****1/2

About Branden

Branden: I am just your average movie nut that reviews films. Gives his take on pop culture and Hollywood happenings. Dreams to have his own thriving website and make a living doing what he is passionate about.

Posted on January 29, 2010, in 2009, Action, Adventure, Crime, Drama, Psychological, Thriller and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Good work buddy, keep it up.

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