Sunday, December 16, 2012

Movie Review: Rubber (2010)

Sometimes a movie will roll into your life that you don't get tired of. Or it leads it's way into endless puns and not-sure-if-I-just-wasted-eighty-minutes-of-life-or-not.

Image from Rubber (Official Movie Site)

This is Robert. He's a tire (probably brand-less) that has come alive. Why? No reason.

"No reason." That's the motto of this movie. It begins with a cop car chair hitting several chairs out in a desert, a cop coming out of the trunk, getting a glass of water from the driver, and then doing a monologue. As soon as he started talking, I knew I was in a for a rolling good time. He basically says that things happen for no reason and we should just accept them for no reason. While you think he's talking to the viewer, you find out that there's actually an audience in the desert who then take binoculars to watch Robert (a movie within a movie).

Image from Rubber (Official Movie Site)

After Roberts awakens and learns to roll, he encounters a water bottle and discovers he enjoys crushing it. Next is a scorpion. But when a glass bottle cannot be crushed he finds out that he has psychic powers and makes it explode. We also get to see a rabbit and crow get blown up.

From here on the movie follows the loose plot of Robert taking a liking to a random female driver and killing anyone who treats him like the tire he appears to be. There are constant cut scenes to the audience, who make stupid remarks about the movie, while also having it's own subplot. This is where the movie loses a lot of charm. The desert audience is just TOO stupid and I find myself actually believing the living tire sequence more than the people in the movie. I also found myself wondering if the lead female character Sheila (played by Roxane Mesquida) was the girl out the "Twi-dumb" series, due to the complete lack of any emotion (though I'm guessing this was done on purpose).

Image from Rubber (Official Movie Site)

I believe no one can say anything bad about the effects used. The various exploding heads are all very gory and rather realistic (I personally really giggled at the rabbit scene). The subtle effects used to make Robert appear alive are genius, including even making him appear to breathe. I was constantly looking for wires but was happy to see none. Excellent work!

I went to college for fine art, studio concentration, and I was constantly butting heads with "modern artists" who believe "anything is art," where a urinal laying on its side is a message from the heavens, but that animation and illustration take no talent at all. This movie, to me, helps personify everything that is stupid about the modern art movement: if you tell people some crap (for something that has no reason), but call it art, they'll believe you.

Image from Rubber (Official Movie Site)

Anyhow, that personally made this movie a huge riot for me. The director Quentin Dupieux constantly throws out ridiculous and no sense scenes just to make a point of how stupid it is. I had fun watching my friends watching it, due to their various reactions: two people fell asleep, while another two just kept their eyes on their screen because they didn't know what else to do.

Overall I enjoyed this movie for what it was; a French horror comedy about a killer tire that was made for no reason. However, I do think that it would have been a much better short film that focused solely on the tire itself and removing all scenes of the in-movie audience.

If you enjoy exploding heads, can take silliness, have a couple of beers on hand, and have eight minutes to kill, I would suggest watching "Rubber." However, it's pretty much a one-trick pony so renting it is the best option.

Oh, and keep rollin', rollin', rollin'.

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