Thursday, July 28, 2011

If You Only See One Killer Tire Movie - "Rubber" Review

“In Steven Spielberg’s ET, why is the alien brown? No reason. In Love Story, why do these two people fall madly in love with each other? No reason. In Oliver Stone’s JFK why is the president assassinated by a complete stranger? No reason."
And so begins Quentin Dupieux's Rubber, a film that describes itself as a "homage to 'no reason.'"  If you are going to see one film this year about a homicidal, psycho-kinetic tire, make it Rubber.  In fact, if you are going to see one film in your entire life about a homicidal, psycho-kinetic tire, still make it Rubber.

"A psycho-kinetic tire?" you say.  

Yes, a psycho-kinetic tire.  In fact this particular tire is named Robert and suddenly, for no particular reason, Robert finds himself newly sentient and looking to discover his own sense of self-identity in the unforgiving terrain of a small Midwest town.

Robert sleeps, drinks, rents motel rooms, watches television, showers, and (most prominently) blows things up with his mind.  Intrigued?  How could you not be?

So is an in-movie audience that watches the events unfold from miles away through binoculars.  They are after entertainment and intrigued by the events unfolding around the killer tire.  In fact they are so interested in this seeming piece of magic that they are willing to starve, ready to feast on whatever bit of scraps the "film" they are watching gives them.

It is this interesting play between the audience and the in-movie "film" they are watching that makes
Rubber so interesting.  The film seems to be saying, "Do you think a movie about a killer tire sounds interesting?  Well that's just the beginning, if you are willing to eat what we have to serve."

Rubber obeys all the conventions of a typical monster movie.  The tire falls in love and lusts after an incredibly sexy brunette in her accompanying 
Cabriolet convertible and in its lustful wake leaves headless bodies strewn about the desert wasteland.  However to call this movie a horror or a thriller would be a mistake.

Rubber is a c
omedy, through and through, with the laughs piled higher than the bodies.  Not only are the  anthropomorphic actions of the tire hilarious, but most of the best laughs come from the self-aware sheriff (Stephen Spinella) who actively comments on the movie that he knows he is operating inside.

The twists and turns that
Rubber takes become more and more surreal, but never at the expense of the audience (except the ones in the film), leading to one of the most fun and out-there endings to a film I've ever seen.

With characters that speak lines like:

"This is the first time in my life that I identify with the tire."
Rubber is more than just a surreal, artsy, shocking film about a tire.  It is a commentary on the relationship between art and its audience that is just flat-out fun. 

3 / 4 Reels



  1. My brother recommended this movie saying it was the best movie he's ever seen.

  2. It is certainly great. I wouldn't recommend it to all audiences but it is one of my favorites of the year. Who are you anonymous? You should post with your name so that we can build conversations on the site.

  3. It's an old name from the past, Will from Spalding. I heard recently, that Alex aka "the Dude" knows you. It certainty is a small world, I didn't know I can post my name on here until recently. I considered not doing it as I've made up a large number of the posts that I've seen on here thus far but if you insist I have appeased your curiosity.

  4. Glad to have you Will! My main goal with this site is to foster conversation about all these movies and I feel like we should know who is responding to what!

  5. My suggesting may be continue to write articles asking the audience things and what got me looking was the link on facebook you posted. I would love to be part of that conversation as it picks up and you receive more voices.

  6. I have enjoyed reading your articles. It is well written. It looks like you spend a large amount of time and effort in writing the post. I am appreciating your effort. .
    Tires Florida

  7. Oh god, the irony. A spammer ad for Tires in Florida. Just to be clear, these tires are guaranteed to be free of murderous wrath, right? Is there a comprehensive return policy in case of evil tire sentience?