The Road I Wish I Had not Taken

by Michael Patrick O'Leary

I actually sat through a movie about a post-apocalyptic world. The characters were called Man, Boy, Woman. There was no explanation, that I could hear, of what brought about the apocalypse. I could not hear very much of the dialogue at all. I could not understand why they were endlessly moving about. They found a survival shelter with an abundance of food and creature comforts but rather than staying there and eating themselves to death, Man decides to go on the road again because he thought he heard a dog.

Plot spoiler. Man dies.

Why would anyone want to live in such a world? We all have to die some time. Most of the people in this world have died, it seems. Many of those left alive are eating other survivors. What is the point in delaying inevitable death when there is so little to live for? There does not appear to be any beer or Facebook or McVities plain chocolate digestives. Who would want to live such a life? Man has gun with two bullets in it. Many people seem to have taken the sensible option as we see a few dangling feet. If I had a gun, I might be tempted to use it if I was forced to watch this film again.

There were quite a few major players involved in this enterprise. Cormac McCarthy wrote the book. Award winning playwright Joe Penhall wrote the screenplay. Nick Cave wrote the music. The cast includes such reliable and not under-employed actors as Viggo Mortenson, Charlize Theron, Robert Duvall ,Michael K Williams (Omar from The Wire) and Guy Pearce.

After writing this, I sampled a few reviews from people I trust, like Roger Ebert, J Hoberman and Peter Bradshaw. They are kinder than I am and someone even (I knew someone would) mentions Samuel Beckett. I am left wondering who would want to watch such a film. I did not pay for it,

This was The Road directed by John Hillcoat.