As far as post apocalyptic movies go, The Road is by far the bleakest movie I have ever seen (there are no spoilers in this review so don’t worry, just watch if you are interested). What sets this movie apart from movies like Mad Max, The Book of Eli and Fallout is that there is virtually nothing left in The Road except a handful of human survivors. It is unclear what happened to cause such a catastrophe, as there is no real back story, I can only assume that some sort of meteor crashed into Earth or Nuclear Fallout caused all life to suddenly cease (there really isn’t an explanation). When I say there is nothing left in the movie, The Road, I mean there is absolutely nothing left, no plants, no animals and a limited food supply; preserved remnants from the world before the apocalypse. All the animals are dead (not even a rat or a bug can be found), extinct for all anyone knows, all the trees and vegetation are also dead so people are unable to start over as there is no way to plant seeds or raise cattle (at least not animal cattle). How some of these people actually survived is not really explained very well either. Throughout the movie, the father teaches his son how to survive, while the son teaches his father humanity and caring.
The story of The Road is centered around a father and his son. They are headed South because the father believes there may be civilization near the coast, so they begin their trek South from somewhere in the upper Appalachia area (not sure where, but I’m sure you could probably figure it out by freeze framing the scenes with the map). The father and son are basically headed towards Florida or somewhere along the coastal area. For most of the movie, the father and son push a shopping cart filled with supplies as they head South. They are barely able to even scavenge for food, since there is pretty much nothing left as most of it was already looted and stockpiled. The father is armed with a revolver with he only has two bullets left, having used up the rest fighting off raiders, marauders and gang members. The last two bullets are for him and his son in case they need to commit suicide, as it is a better alternative to die quickly than to be captured and butchered alive by desperate people who have lost their sense sense of humanity and have resorted to cannibalism and murder.
The Father and Son do whatever it takes to survive, which is mainly scavenging. Sometimes they get lucky and find a hidden cache of canned food. The Father promises his son that they will remain the “good guys” and not resort to cannibalism and murder.
The Road certainly makes the post apocalyptic world a very scary place, where no one would want to live. I mean, I wouldn’t mind living in the Fallout or Mad Max worlds as there is still somewhat of a civilization left as well as animal livestock (albeit with a risk of radiation contamination), at least cannibalism is not something to worry about. There is really no such luxury in The Road’s version of the post apocalypse, as all food source is all but eliminated. As there is no apparent animal or plant life left either, and most people have resorted to cannibalism in order to survive.
The Gangs in The Road are either scavenging or hunting humans for food as there is no other animal or plant life.
The Road is the kind of movie that makes you think long and hard about whether or not suicide is justifiable or not, since the world has changed to the point where humanity has become clannish and taciturn, no one trusts each other and even the handful of civilization left in the form of clans and gangs turn on their own when they get hungry. Any form of future society would revolve around inbreeding and raising human cattle. In order to repopulate the world with nothing in it, humanity would have to devolve into something ghoulish and cannibalistic in order to survive in a world where everything ceased to exist. Scary right? I certainly think so.
With nothing left to farm or grow, humanity would resort to inbreeding and cannibalism…