Tuesday, December 01, 2009

Movie review: The Road

December 1. The beginning of Dougmas. You'd think I'd have something ready. Go read yesterday's tirade again.

I just got back from watching "The Road". I'm feeling rather disturbed. Oh, don't think for a minute that it was the movie that disturbed me. The movie does a good job of making "Mad Max" look like an optimistic view of the future. It's very bleak and monochromatic. Viggo Wass'is'oozit looks very bad naked. I mean, if Aragorn looks that lousy naked then what hope do the rest of us guys have?

"The Road" is a post-apocalypse type movie. What type of apocalypse is never stated. You can kind of deduce, however. There's no hordes of brain eating undead so zombie apocalypse is kind of out. There's no five story tripods so I'm eliminating alien attack, too. The sky is a pretty uniform gray and everything is covered in ash. There is no talk of radiation, but things started with flashes of light followed by lesser booms. A couple of mentions of earthquakes and a scene with lots of falling trees makes one think that the planet became more seismically active and that volcanoes all over the world are erupting.

All the animals are dead. As are the plants. No hope for finding crops or planting them. Yet Viggo and Charlize have a kid. Very good. Well planned. Gold star. Shmucks.

After Charlize does her Captain Oates impression ("I am just going outside and may be some time.") Viggo is left with a rather whiny kid. Seriously, he was born and raised after the end of the world; I expect a bit more from him. The duo heads south. South toward the ocean. Not really sure what part of the United States they're living in.

But that's what the bulk of the movie is. The two of them walking through endless wasteland and ash to throw the one ring into Mount Do... er, in the hopes of finding warmer and more hospitable climates nearer the equator. From time to time they run into people who want to kill and eat them. On occasion they find someone who just wants to take their stuff and leave them for dead.

At the end Viggo dies and leaves the kid on his own. Luckily, the kid is picked up by the people who have been following them and driving his dad into pushing on, threatening people, and leaving behind food, shelter, and safety.

I give the movie a lot of crap, but it wasn't bad. I liked most of it. I wasn't feeling the tearful farewell scene near the end at all. Ok, there was a bit when the kid went back to say good bye to his dead father. Certainly more than when he was saying goodbye to his dying father.

Really, it was just bleak. Bleak, bleak, and more bleak. Bleak tension. Bleak desolation. Bleak farewells. Bleak hope. Bleak overcritical audience. Bleak arrow in the leg. Bleak everything.

The disturbing bit was in a 1975 collection of short stories by Isaac Asimov. The second story was kinda preachy, and Asimov apologizes for that and then explains what he was thinking when he wrote it back in 1950. Asimov's personal story was one of those rare moments that drives home Cold War thinking to a post-Vietnam/post-Watergate whippersnapper like myself.


Sweetly Single said...

hmph now I'm depressed LOL you sucked the life out of my Viggo fantasy....thanks ALOT LOL

GreenCanary said...

Okay, I saw Viggo's ass in A History of Violence and it was awesome. So hang on to that fantasy, Sweetly. There's still hope.