It has as schlocky B-movie concept, but it has the style and execution of an art film. Only the French could or would come up with something like this. Besides the tire, the film is also a meditation on/ a critique of how people view or experience created works. This is very much a self referential meta type thing, but that's also what makes it cool, because it's all very unexpected and odd. This is probably one of the most bizarre films I'ver ever seen, and it's definitely the most surreal and absurd.
I actually kinda have to respect this movie for being what it is. It's not perfect, and it tries a bit too hard with the post modernist deconstruction of narrative and consumption or art, but the effects, cinematogrpahy, and music are pretty rad. This is minimalist low budget stuff, but a little goes a long way. It's fun and unique, and it's pretty watchable. No, not everyone will like this, but that's okay. It's not trying to be a crowd pleaser.
If an artsy somewhat pretentious film about a killer tire that also comments about art and how people react to it sounds like you're type of movie, then definitely check this out.
Pays homage to the horror genre, while poking fun at the movie industry in general.
Having said that...it is also about 25 minutes too long. But worth seeing.
An interesting idea could have been brilliant but the story wears out its welcome with a lack of story and self conscious artistic touches. You see some of the participants are aware they are in a picture. Actor Stephen Spinella as Lieutenant Chad address the audience early on and expresses a "no reason" philosophy of many movies (including this one, I presume). Other actors are members of a crowd watching from the sidelines with binoculars commenting on the action. Those conceits are less successful than when the tire is just acting under its own power. Confusion, anger, despair, even love - the tire feels all of these. It's simply 82 minutes of surrealism. The brilliance of the script is that you actually believe it has these emotions.
When Robert, a tire, discovers his destructive telepathic powers, he soon sets his sights on a desert town; in particular, a mysterious woman becomes his obsession.
The main plot of Quentin Dupieux's "Rubber" is that a tire comes to life and goes around killing people. But there are some more things going on. The movie opens with a man asking why certain things are like they are, with the answer to each being "no reason"; naturally there can be no logical reason why a tire should kill people. Throughout the movie, a bunch of people are watching the action: they are literally spectators as the tire goes on its murderous rampage, just as we the audience are (and they enjoy it, just as we do). Is what they see any more fictional or real than what we see? Just how much can one blur the line between fiction and reality? We could go over these questions for hours, but in the meantime, "Rubber" is simply a fun spoof of horror flicks. Starring Stephen Spinella, Jack Plotnick, Roxane Mesquida, Wings Hauser and Ethan Cohn. PS: Director Dupieux is a French techno musician who goes by the pseudonym Mr. Oizo. "Oizo" is a corruption of "oiseau" (bird).
The problem is that, viewed through a critical lens, this isn't a particularly clever or unique idea at all. Funny Games sustained a very similar premise with immensely more subtlety, and though I was by no means a fan of Funny Games, this film significantly increased my appreciation of its approach. Adaptation, Synecdoche New York, The Limits of Control - anything that explores the societal roles of art and metafiction, really - all have something to offer. All Rubber seems to say is "people think this way when they watch movies." And yet the very act of viewing Rubber through this same critical lens seems to prove its shallow point. Because I have the ability to say that this movie is not clever or unique, I in turn empower its anti-critical stance. Why try to give something reason when it doesn't need it? Why be that guy in the wheelchair, the one who actively resists surrendering to a stupid movie? It is quite the double-edged sword that Rubber plays with, and even though it knows it, I'm not going to let a movie tell me the right or wrong way to watch a film. I don't appreciate being told that thinking critically about what's being put in front of me is somehow antithetical to enjoying it. Rubber is as far as can be from a story told straight, and that's probably the most interesting thing about it, aside from its admittedly effective bait-and-switch marketing. In the end, though, I thought it was an incredibly self-congratulatory exercise in demonstrating the vacuity of media and viewership, where I felt persecuted no matter how I approached the film.
This could have been a fantastic movie. Unfortunately, it isn't.
I love the premise, but the fun of things happening for "no reason" seems to be destroyed when it's made clear that things are happening by design. That's not clever and it's not authentically random, it's pretentious. Even worse, the filmmakers were so focused on making some kind of a unfocused, ham-fisted statement, that they forgot the most important thing: making Rubber entertaining. Without that, all this meta thinking is a failure. An interesting failure (at least, at first), but still a failure.
It's not much of a stretch to say that a person like me is probably part of the main audience that would potentially be appreciative of something like this. Instead, I found it to be a thorough disappointment. If they would have just taken the basic idea and gone with it, this could have been a fun, inexplicable romp. Instead, they tried to add meaning to a movie created solely to celebrate "no reason".
Probably the biggest comment about films, which it may not have intended to make, is the use of the tire. Here I was wondering how they got the thing to move. When watching Avatar I just sat there knowing it was a computer. Here, simple techniques are harnessed and it's a joy to watch. I was completely entranced by this moving tire.
The music was also a great accompaniment. It slowly built the mood of a unique film. I just wish it had tried to be simply absurd, instead of being so critical about films in general.