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Rubber

by

Jeff Nelson

Audiences who truly want something different and are tolerable of off-the-wall films should give this a look

Rubber
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A large portion of moviegoers, with me included, gets irritated with constant remakes, sequels, and prequels. There aren't very many films being released with new and fresh ideas that audiences haven't seen before. The independent market is one of the few ways to find interesting concepts. As soon as Rubber was announced, audiences gave very different reactions. Some moviegoers claimed that it's a hilarious idea that could be excellent, if executed correctly. Others stated that it would be dumb no matter what. I didn't hold any expectations before seeing this. I just knew not to take the film seriously and to have a good time with it. Despite the strange premise, every film deserves at least a chance to prove itself.

When Robert, a tire, discovers his destructive telepathic powers, he enters a desert town where a mysterious woman becomes his obsession. Yes, that's correct, the main character is a tire. Just to be straightforward, everything about this film is weird. The plot isn't an exception. While the events are taking place in the movie, there are spectators watching the events through binoculars. The screenplay throughout consists in following the concept that things happen in film for no reason. There's no point to certain things placed in cinema. Even though everything about the movie is strange, there are some interesting notions that aren't anything you'll see very often. None of the characters are interesting, so the audience can't help but just want to see all of their heads explode from Robert's powers. There isn't anything hilarious in Rubber, but there are a few scenes that are good for a laugh or two.

With such a ridiculous plot and screenplay, the acting just has to follow. Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Wings Hauser, Roxane Mesquida, and others perform as the leading characters behind Robert. Roxane Mesquida delivers a few funny lines of dialogue not because of the dialogue itself, but from her mannerisms and reactions. The rest of the cast all meshes together leaving nobody to stand out from the whole. In the end, nobody cares about the performances seen here when all we want to see is the tire causing destruction.

Writer/director Quentin Dupieux managed creating the film on a small budget of an estimated $500,000. My critical concern here was how the tire would look in action. Even with the small budget, Robert looks just fine. Right before this telepathic tire makes something explode, it vibrates as a high pitched sound comes from the front stage. The crew used Robert well without making these scenes come off as too cheap. Quite a few things explode throughout the film. Everything from bottles and birds to human heads. The bloody explosions of heads look quite good. The audio isn't anything excellent and remains in the front stage and doesn't make very good use of the surround speakers or subwoofer.

The movies that dare to be different and aren't created to make a lot of money are certainly ballsy. Rubber is easily included in this small section of the industry. While I wanted to love the movie off of the film being so unique, it never worked for me. There are some humorous moments, but nothing that will cause an uproar of laughter. The entire movie from start to finish is extremely odd. I couldn't help but feel a tad bored at times. The telepathic explosions are awesome, but it's repeated so many times that it becomes repetitive. Audiences who truly want something different and are tolerable of off-the-wall films should give this a look. I admire Rubber for what it's trying to do, but it just didn't work for me. While the film isn't terrible, it's a little below average.

My Rating = Two Stars

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