The only reason I actually watched this film, Rubber (2010), was because it was a selection in Phillip DeFranco‘s movie club, Like Totally Awesome. I figured this was a way for me to watch some films I might not have heard of or never got to. Well… I’m wishing I never heard of this film and I’ve got to say this was the longest hour and a half that I’ve endured for awhile. I think my root canals have been less painful to endure. Maybe even getting my teeth pulled while awake with not enough novocaine.
This movie is about Robert, a psychic tire that goes on the lam (if you can call it that when a tire goes on a killing spree and is on the run from the cops) and kills everything and anything that crosses its path except an attractive girl. ”He” almost kills her but fate intervenes at the last moment. Their paths cross a bit later at a seedy motel where she conveniently leaves her front door open as well as the bathroom door so she can take a shower and I suppose, let anyone who would like, watch. Because that is completely logical. I know that when I stay at a seedy motel in the desert that’s the first thing I do.
The director of this cinematic atrocity, Quentin Dupieux, is actually a French record producer, DJ, composer and songwriter. Dupieux also likes to go by Mr. Oizo. Okay. Whatever. I’d like to give Dupieux some credit, and if he’d just made the straight horror film with the psychic pathological killing tire, I might have actually enjoyed it. An inanimate object as a protagonist who kills is a clever idea. Yes, it has been done before but not with something as mundane as a tire (to the best of my cinematic knowledge).
My issue with this film comes with the other half of it. Dupieux decided to get fancy. To try and flaunt his cinematic knowledge of audiences/spectators and how they function in a film. Hitchcock (Rear Window, 1954 and Vertigo, 1958) and Powell (Peeping Tom, 1960) did it on a level that doesn’t warrant Dupieux worthy enough to exist in the same milieu. However, he tried to insert himself there by invoking the avant-garde and the French New Wave into the mix by having his character speak to the audience in the film and the audience off-screen. Now, that could be forgiven on its own. I’ll chalk it up to an over-zealous love of film theory (I’m sure I’m giving him more credit than he deserves). What I believe is a giant cinematic faux-pas is that he informs us we will be watching a film that doesn’t happen for any reason then proceeds to justify that his ‘film’ doesn’t need to have any reason, using examples from blockbuster films as if his could ever hope to attain that status. Here’s a piece of advice to you Dupieux: audiences don’t need to be told they are watching crap. They can figure it out for themselves.
I’m sure Dupieux feels he is a highly intellectual and clever filmmaker because this film was shown at Cannes. I just think that a worthy film that could have been made got the shaft and yet another piece of shlock is out there, taking up space. I find it a sad commentary on who is financing films and what they are thinking. Because whoever financed this film must have been high on crack. And that’s me being kind. Oh, and if you ever watch this film, you would probably be better off watching it high on crack as I can tell you right now, watching it on sinus medicine isn’t enough.
You can watch my Vlog Review on YouTube.
Trailer for Rubber:
The trailer is better than the film.