Review: The Road

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The Pitch: Apolcalypse just before Now. What are we going to do today?

The Review: Viggo Mortensen is making a career out of less than cheerful characters. Ever since he escaped from Middle Earth, he’s been wrapped up in stern moods and miserable looks, often in the company of David Cronenberg. Now he teams up with the director of The Proposition to bring to life, if that’s the right word, Cormac McCarthy’s novel.

By turns almost religiously faithful and carefully respectful to the source material, this somehow loses some of the power of the original prose. No sense is ever given of the exact nature of the apocalyptic event, but neither is strong reasoning given for the journey undertaken, which makes the whole enterprise feel unfocused.

Matters aren’t helped by the fact that the road movie feel is broken up by the constant flashbacks. Gradually the story is pieced together, but this doesn’t have the direction it needs, and cannot get by on mood alone, when the mood is bleak but actually would benefit occasionally from being bleaker.

Continuing the trend of movies with sprinklings of famous cameos, especially Guy Pearce and Robert Duvall in ‘is-that-really-them?’ layers of muck and make-up, this has many effective moments, that sadly do not all add up to being the sum of their parts.

Why see it at the cinema: The post-apocalyptic scenery, especially the occasional panoramic view, is stunning and deserves to be seen on the best screen possible.

The Score: 6/10