RUBBER: Movie Review

RUBBER Movie Review by Mike Pickle
Review by Michael Pickle, MoreHorror.com

Ok, MoreHorror readers. The first thing you must know about RUBBER is that it's about a killer tire named Robert. The question is; does the film ever rise above that concept? Quentin Dupieux who wrote, directed, edited and shot this experimental, horror, thriller, comedy, romance; is undoubtedly a very talented filmmaker. One who is sure to divide audiences with this film.

Some think this is a clever art-house horror film and appreciate it for its ridiculousness. Some of us, on the other hand, think it's a nice short film concept that is, sometimes painfully, stretched into a feature. Films like this are usually kept short and used as a vehicle to help push proficient filmmakers like Dupieux a little closer to the spotlight. Stretching a film like RUBBER into a feature only serves to push it under a magnifying glass and causes people like me to scratch their heads and wonder why breaking the fourth wall almost never works and why over an hour was added to the run-time than was needed for such a silly film.

In the opening scenes of RUBBER; Stephen Spinella (who plays local policeman Lieutenant Chad) explains to us and a small group of tourists in the middle of the desert that this film is dedicated to "no reason". He proceeds to give examples of things that happen in films for no reason. After his speech, the small audience is given binoculars to watch the story of Robert the killer tire play out.

Robert inexplicably wakes up in the dirt with psychic powers. He rolls around the desert blowing up bottles and cans, but soon graduates to birds and bunnies. Robert sets his sites on a mysterious hottie Sheila (Roxane Mesquida) and follows her around trying to get her attention.

We occasionally revisit the group of tourists watching Robert. Is this audience here to relate to us or to make fun of us? Some of them point out plot holes while others offer annoying commentary much like a fellow movie-goer talking to the screen in the row behind you. There are some clever exceptions, but this built in audience mostly serves as an example of why not to break the fourth wall.

RUBBER Movie Poster and Review

When Robert sees fellow round rubber brethren ablaze in a fire it's no more mister nice tire as he exacts his revenge on the human race. It's up to Lieutenant Chad and Sheila the hottie to stop him and save the world from Robert's wrath.

Dupieux challenges us as an audience, which is usually a good thing. Unfortunately, in order to challenge us you have to give us something more challenging. Just because you explain to us that all this happens for "no reason" the level of entertainment should still stay within reason. What RUBBER achieves is simple. Simple concepts and simple story; making the impact of the film inherently simple.

Everything about "RUBBER" is on the surface and defies the viewer to look deeper. I'm afraid it doesn't endear us enough to want to go deeper. Watch RUBBER for its tongue-in-cheek attitude, its outrageousness, originality and to watch heads blow up. If that's enough for you then you're likely to enjoy it and I'm sure half of you will. Don't go in expecting anything more like the trailers seem to promise. You may be disappointed.

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