The Road (2009) starring Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron directed by John Hillcoat Movie Review

The Road (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Viggo Mortensen in The Road (2009)

The Neverending Road

Following some major disaster which has wiped out much of the population and leaving everything else in a state of slow death a man (Viggo Mortensen) and his boy (Kodi Smit-McPhee) try to make it to the sea as for them it is where hope lies. But the post-apocalyptical world is a dangerous play where there are those who survive on killing and eating others whilst for some like the boy's mother (Charlize Theron) the lack of hope is too much to take.

I admittedly read very little, I find that come the end of the day the last thing I want to do is read a book and instead long for some mindless entertainment on some low ranking TV channel. But it does surprise me when looking for info on a movie I come across opinion after opinion from those who seem to have read every novel which gets made in to a movie, making me wonder how they get the time to do so. This is what happened with "The Road" as it seems every opinion I read from a wide range of places came from people who had read Cormac McCarthy's novel and loved both his novel and this adaptation, often citing thinking it was an impossible novel to dramatize, amazing how so many people said the same thing. Well I haven't read the novel and in truth having endured "The Road" I don't think I will.

Now in truth "The Road" impressed me as this is one of the bleakest post-apocalyptical movies I have ever watched as we follow man and boy trying to make it across the country when it seems completely futile to do so. We see the dangers which present themselves on a daily basis from cannibal gangs to the danger of trees just crumbling and hitting them. As I said it is bleak and hard as we see how for man it is difficult to keep the boy's spirits going in a world where they only have each other and live with the pain of hunger every day. In fact it does a good job of showing how the option to end it all is always very present.

The trouble for me is that despite painting this bleak picture and backing it up with good performances and incredible visuals is that the story never seems to be going anywhere. Instead what we get is one episode of survival or reminiscing back to the start of it all after another and after a while it becomes tedious. Okay tedious may seem harsh but you want more, some sort of purpose to all this other than what is being presented which means that in-between the various episodes it struggles to keep hold of your attention.

What this all boils down to is that "The Road" is impressive on many levels but suffers from an episodic style which struggles to keep your attention when it is meandering in-between those episodes.