Rubber is a movie all of its own. I know of no film like it. It is a movie about a tire. Don’t give up on this just yet. You may never see a film precisely like this one again.
The opening sequence is very well-written and expels a message that’s quite convincing and sheds a light on something that can really irritate film critics like myself: when things in movies happen for no reason.
The concept of “no reason” is one of the most irksome things in the American experience. No matter how many times you see it illustrated in film, it still grinds your teeth to nubs and your brain to mush as you try your hardest to figure out what the purpose was. Most of the time it is a lousy work ethic from the crew behind the camera, who in turn receive all of the skepticism and explosive outbursts from critics and fans. However, there are some times, a very minute portion of the pie, but nonetheless, there are times where it’s just there. There isn’t any reason for it to be there because it’s the ideal of “no reason”. As the opening speech states, “The film you are about to see today is an homage to the ‘no reason’.”
That speech relates to the remainder of the film. You will see things that make no sense. Speechless will become the best adjective to describe you. You’ll have emotions because it’s not indifferent material and depending on who you are, dare I say, you might have fun watching this.
Originality is one of Rubber‘s top fortes because the premise of a movie about a tire, while absurd, questionable, and of seemingly senseless stupidity, is still an attention-grabbing film that will draw you in. The spectacle is too bewildering to ignore.
The visual quality and cinematography isn’t anything special and might even be at a college level at points but that didn’t bother me that much because this movie isn’t about that. It’s about the “no reason”. Everything that happens in this movie is because of no reason. Surprisingly, that manages to entertain for a majority of the film’s running time. It only drags for about the last ten minutes and considering this is a movie focused on a tire, that’s pretty good.
A simple yet complicated screenplay by Quentin Dupieux is the engine of this film. The acting is decent but anyone could work in these roles. It’s the lines of the characters and the actions of the tire that really form the inner workings here. The spectators act like people who are watching this film, executing the personalities and attitudes. Rubber thrives on the creative concepts of the screenplay so well that the average acting and substandard pacing can be forgiven. Character development isn’t a priority for this film so that is an obstacle to this reaching a higher score, but this is also a film that wasn’t meant for that. Sometimes I think we get so used to things that when someone decides to change it up, we’re too quick to fault them as wrong before giving them a chance and I’m afraid that’s what many will do with this flick.
The tire’s given some emotions, like being drowsy and uncoordinated in the morning, and identifies with a person. With that said, the emotional roller coaster is like the land of the Sahara: flat and deserted. There’s no emotional platform here. There are a plethora of laughs that conceal that, but it’s the character development and emotional roller coaster that can make a movie something more than it is. Perhaps that’s not what Rubber is trying to be and if that’s the case, that’s fine, but I like to look for some deeper meaning to my movies when I can. There are some movies that it doesn’t matter what the overall takeaway is, they’re still a laugh-out-loud time and I think that’s just the case with Rubber.
Once again, if you’re new to my blog, I’ve always ranked movies on a scale of 0-100 (I don’t know why, I just always have). Here’s the grading scale.
80-89 It was a pretty good movie and definitely one worth seeing, but it doesn’t quite scratch my top ten percentile. (Tears of the Sun, Edge of Tomorrow, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, Young Guns, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2)
50-59 This movie isn’t intolerable but it’s not blowing my mind either. I’m trying really hard to get some sort of enjoyment out of this. (The Expendable 3, Homefront, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, Vantage Point, The Starving Games)
40-49 This movie is just mediocre. It’s not doing anything other than the bare minimal, so morbidly boring that sometimes I’m actually angry I watched this. (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Billy Madison, A Haunted House, 300: Rise of an Empire, Cowboys and Aliens)
30-39 Definitely worse than mediocre, the 30′s ironically define the 1930′s, full of depression, lack of accomplishments, poverty and just so dumb. (Planet of the Apes, Stonados, Redemption, Pride and Prejudice, The Contract)
0-19 Watching this movie resulted in one or more of the following: seizure, loss of brain cells, falling asleep/unconsciousness, feel you wasted your time/day, accomplished nothing for you, left the movie knowing less about it then you did going into it, constantly asking yourself why you came to see this movie, or near-death experience. In short, staring at a wall was just as entertaining as watching this movie. This movie deserved a sticker or a label that said, “WARNING: EXTREME AMOUNT OF SUCKAGE.” (Safe, Watchmen, Clash of the Titans, A Haunted House 2, Open Grave)
My score for Rubber: 62.
Rubber‘s individuality alone makes it worth a watch, although many people will debate its value afterwards. If you enjoy the witty, dry humor take, Rubber will probably be for you.