Thu 23 Apr 2015
I am afraid that am developing a slight phobia for post-apocalyptic films genre, and The Road directed by John Hillcoat pushed me one step ahead down this hill. Some of the movies that belong to this category are mostly action movies, while a few try to be different. Most of them are pessimistic about the short term chances of mankind but entertain a ray of hope on long term, of course after we have learned the lesson. Many of them try to provide dire warnings about what we do with our planet and with ourselves. Cinematography participates in creating the warning tones with rendition of how the deserted landscapes and destroyed cities of the planet will look the day after. Bible names and quotes are widely used. ‘The Road’ is a little bit of all these while trying to be more. While I appreciate the effort I did not enjoy the results of this try.
About ten years after the Apocalypse what is left of mankind seems to be the only surviving species on Earth in the film inspired by a book by Cormac McCarthy. Neither did any vegetation survived, so looking for canned food (do not ask about the expiration date) seems to be the only alternative for the good guys other than the cannibalism adopted by the bad guys. A father and a son try to find their way to the ocean in order to survive another winter. I will not tell much more, and one of the reasons is that much more does not happen, at least action-wise.
Sure, this is not meant to be an action film. Much of the intended value should be in the post-apocalyptic landscape (good camera work in more than 50 shades of real gray) and in the building of the characters. This is where in my opinion the film fails. Avoiding to romanticize is fine with me, but I cannot say that I knew much more at the end of the film than I knew after the first five minutes. Viggo Mortensen of ‘Lord of the Rings’ fame and the kid actor Kodi Smit-McPhee do both a fine job. Robert Duvall and Charlize Theron add their names to the credits but their fans will be disappointed about how little time they spend on screen. The film is not only dark but is also dull, seemed to me much longer than it really was and the ending – because any film has an ending – could not avoid the melodrama that the director tried to avoid in the making. I would recommend this film only to the post-apocalyptic genre aficionados.