We have us a request on our hands!… And boy I do not know what to do with it. I mean what can you really say about a movie like Rubber? It is a french film, a horror movie, and a quasi sort of self parody… That is really all I got. Movies like Rubber are pretty hard to critique for any critic mainly because the intention of the film is typically what is being critiqued about other films, the lack of reason. There is nothing in existence that is ‘critic proof’, everything on this planet can be critiqued. It is just a matter that films like Rubber cannot be critiqued by the usual methods that many people grow accustomed to.
Rubber is a 2010 french film that is directed by Quinten Dupieux and is set in the California desert. The film starts with a group of people who have gathered to watch a ‘film’ and the ‘Sheriff’ of the film stating that many things happen in cinema for ‘no reason’ to exposite to the ‘audience’ the tone of the film. The story then follows a tire… A tire that becomes sentient and begins to move on its own. It soon learns that it has telekinetic powers and has the power to make people’s heads explode. The story then follows the tire as it goes on a killing spree and following a young woman with which the tire has become infatuated with, the Sheriff hunting the tire, and the ‘audience’ watching with a pair of binoculars.
… That is really all I got. I wish I could do a better plot synopsis then that… But really I got nothing here. If you are thinking this plot is as insane as it sounds then you are right. So really there is nothing to do now but critique the film and see if it succeeded in portraying the message that it was attempting to tell.
Kudos to the Director and Producer for Going Completely Balls Out Insane
In a day and age where film makers are afraid to take any kind of risk… This film went all kinds of balls out and to hell with anyone who said it was a bad idea. The ‘no reason’ idea that the film is presenting is something that many film directors and producers would be terrified to touch with a twenty-foot pole. There really is no market for it and it doesn’t necessarily pander to comedy or horror though it can be classified as both and the self parody can fall on deaf ears to those who really aren’t paying any attention to the film at all.
It was a risk and a risk that didn’t seem to pan out all that well, seeing as how the film only grossed $100,000 of its $500,000 budget. But overall it is a film that seems to be obtaining a sort of cult status behind it and I can see the film becoming more profitable as the years go on.
The Film Does Portray Its Message the Way it Intended
I’ll give it this… It did a good job at portraying its message. This truly is a film that has ‘no reason’ attached to it. It is the story of a sentient tire who begins to take on human characteristics and kill people with telekinetic abilities. This is never really explained except to reinforce the notion that there is no reason behind it except to entertain the masses for the sake of entertainment. Its intention was sound and the story, cast, and direction truly supports it. As far as its intention is concerned, this film did everything right.
The Story Begins to Seriously Drag Halfway Through the Film
At the beginning of the film I admit that I got pretty caught up in the mere concept of a tire gaining sentience and start blowing shit up. It was pretty hilarious all things considered and I did enjoy for the first few minutes as it is rolling down the street, goes into a hotel, and just begins acting like a normal person… But then around the sixty minute mark I was looking at my watch wondering just when this thing was going to end. The idea is really cool and would make for a really cool movie short… But even for a 86 minute long film it quickly wears thin on the senses.
The ‘No Reason’ Philosophy Can Feel… *Sigh* Pretentious
I know! That word is used over and over and over again as a type of ‘smart word’ to make critics seem like they are saying something that they are not. But I really can’t help that it stays relevant in this scenario. Yes there are things that happen in films that have ‘no reason’ behind them. But typically if there is ‘no reason’ behind why something is in a film, it is either critiqued for having no reason or is so engrained in the human culture that a reason does not need to be placed in the film and can just be accepted as an aspect.
I can completely understand the message that Dupieux is going for in the film and how a person can construe certain plot points in films as having ‘no reason’ behind them. But really I feel to make a movie like Rubber has more of a feeling of ‘being so smart’ to acknowledge a relatively tiny critique in modern story telling and amping up to say ‘Yeah I see this and I am a smarter person for making a film about it’. I am not saying at all that this was Dupieux’s complete intent but it does have the feeling to it as you watch the film.
This film truly is something special. On the one hand it has succeeded in every way it intended in creating a no reason type of film that seems to revel in its self-awareness. It is shot well and the story for what it is sound. The problem though is the concept alone can feel pretentious to some and the film can quickly lose the interest of the audience who could be quite content in seeing a killer tire for thirty minutes and calling it a day.
Final Score 3/5
Thank you for reading and thanks to Ben for the request. As always if you enjoyed this review then please like and subscribe for more from me.