“It’s already boring” -some nameless little kid.
“All great films, without exception, contain an important element of no reason,” -desert cop Lt. Chad.
That sums up this awful film. The movie review should stop right here as that is all that really needs to be said. There is an old adage that goes somewhat like this: If you have to explain a joke…Well, here is a quote by Mark Twain: “Explaining humor is a lot like dissecting a frog, you learn a lot in the process, but in the end you kill it.” Whatever chance Rubber had to deliver itself as a movie was killed in the opening scene. Oh, but this film is so brilliantly esoteric that we feel compelled to explain it to you because you as the audience are so dumb! Unique does not always translate into watchable. In the case of the film Rubber, unique is just a euphemism for a steaming load of rubbish masquerading as a movie.
The Plot: Rubber is a movie within a movie as there are random spectators with binoculars watching the movie being made from a nearby hill. A discarded tire comes to life and discovers its magical powers to make things explode. This tire then rolls to various locations and explodes the heads of humans. As all of this is happening the spectators are fed a poison turkey and they all die. The police track the tire down and kill it with a shotgun after failing to kill it with a mannequin loaded with explosives. The tire reincarnates into a tricycle and rolls down the street and brings other discarded tires to life and they follow him. Film ends.
I’m joking, right? No, I’m afraid not. Rubber was a movie that was written and directed by the French director Quentin Dupieux. Never heard of him? There is a good reason. This jerk was confident that his work was so brilliant that the audience would be too dumb to get it. Because of this, he included a long explanation at the beginning of the movie as to how some components of movies were made for no reason. He then repeated the same empty soliloquy at the end of the movie as well. Oh, I get it. You just suck at making movies.
I agreed to review a couple of movies as favor for a great friend, Ted Barrus, the Fire-Breathing Idiot of YouTube fame. The first one was Hobo With a Shotgun, which was a near masterpiece. Rubber, on the other hand, was about as far from a masterpiece as you could get. Rubber was a void, a total bust, and the reason was the director and writer, Quentin Dupieux. This movie had potential as a delightfully camp horror film, but this disaster had no such bones. Rubber also tried to be some sort of hip, wink-wink comedy, but again, achieved no such goal. The director was too caught up in trying to force-feed the audience his imagined craft and his self-indulgent art, to actually make a watchable movie. The biggest failure was his attempt to go outside the movie with the characters and “explain things”. Dupieux just could not get out of his own way in this movie and seemed more intent on cleverly trying to break the fourth wall than making a enjoyable film. This is too bad as Rubber could have been a decent black humor film, but it lost its way along that desert highway.
Pretentious and unwatchable are adjectives that are thrown around a lot in movie reviews, but there is no avoiding those words when describing this botched effort of a movie. There were some nicely shot scenes of the wayward tire and the desert landscape and the scenes of the tire’s hi-jinks at the motel were the best in the movie. The tire should have been the focus of the show, but the preachy writer and director traded a blowout for a flat, and failed to fully exploit the vulcanized star of the show.
Quotable Quotes [these are actual lines in this horrible movie]:
- “Oh God, the kid was right. The killer is a tire” -Lieutenant Chad
- “I just saw a live tire” -Zach
- “Hey, wait, it’s not the end. He’s been reincarnated as a tricycle -Man in wheelchair
- “You are nothing but rubber shit” -Sheila [talking to tire]
Special Ruthless Ratings -or- Things I learned from Rubber
- Are you and Ted Barrus still friends? Yes, he’s been punished enough
- Apparently there are no decent living French directors
- After a hard day of rolling around in the desert, even tires need rest.
- If you are taking a shower in a seedy motel you leave the front door open
- Talking tires enjoy watching TV, especially NASCAR