The Road (R) - 2009 - Runtime: 111 minutes
Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee, Robert Duvall, Charlize Theron, Guy Pearce
Director: John Hillcoat
I absolutely loved the book this movie was based on. I'm a sucker for any movie dealing with post-apocalyptic themes (Children of Men, 12 Monkeys are among my favorite movies!). And Cormac McCarthy's book is strangely intoxicating. I read it in one sit through when I picked it up at the library. It's a short read and I recommend it to anyone who loves sci-fi. Suffice to say, The Road had a lot of high expectations to live up to. And it delivers - it's got the desolate tone the book has and I found myself just as riveted to it as I did that one night I read through the book.
The plot is simple - something has happened to the world where it's now desolate and abandoned. Only gangs survive and here we find a man and his son travelling through the country to find safety? Shelter? We don't know and it's pretty apparent that they don't know either. They have no names but the movie flashes back to better times before the boy was born. It's here we get a sense of purpose for the dad - he will do anything to protect his only son. It's a great story - and the movie is pretty faithful to the book. What I got from the book (and the movie) was the utter sense of dread. You just don't know how long these two can last. It's a credit to the author and the director to create that sense of foreboding.
The acting is pretty solid and at times the kid can get a little bit annoying. He's a bit too whiny and high pitched compared to how I read him in the book, but that's a minor gripe into what's really a good movie. If you have any interest in the subject, read the book first by all means (it's only 200 pages or so and so thoroughly engrossing that it's easy to finish as soon as you start) and then watch the movie. It's too bad that this got shoved to the wayside because I think it's a great story and a solid movie all around!
Rating: Rent It!