Would you believe me if I told you RUBBER was the long awaited sequel to Judd Apatow’s pregnancy comedy KNOCKED UP, starring Seth Rogen and Katherine Heigl? No? Okay well then let’s get some particulars out of the way. RUBBER is the story of a telepathic tire; if that previous statement made you laugh, then you might actually enjoy the film. I can think of no other way to adequately prepare anyone not on board with the fact that if you sit down to watch RUBBER you WILL watch a movie that literally follows a tire with telepathic powers. So if you were expecting a movie about the comedic aftermath of a failed sexual encounter with a discarded prophylactic then I hate to be the bearer of bad news, it’s not, but maybe there’s a DTV movie starring Lindsey Lohan or Hilary Duff that’s more up your ally.
RUBBER is the story of a tire that awakes covered in dirt in the middle of a desert. It begins rolling its way to the road and learning its surroundings before discovering that it has telepathic abilities. What’s the best way for a living tire to use those abilities? By blowing up beer bottles, birds, rabbits and people’s heads, obviously. The tire then becomes intent on following a woman to a motel she stops at and proceeds to blow up the head of anyone that crosses its path.
RUBBER is definitely not for anyone who find the SCREAM series’ sense of self awareness annoying. It is explained right at the beginning the following movie is pretty much dedicated to the cinema concept of things happening for absolutely no reason whatsoever. This is evident because the first question you will ask yourself is why there are people standing in the desert watching this tire kill everyone, no reason. Not to mention why it is that a tire is killing everyone and how is it alive to begin with, no reason. Nothing is explained and that’s precisely what makes just about everything in RUBBER so hilarious.
For a film about a killer tire the film is shot very well, with lots of cool scenery and well staged scenes. From the get go you know you’re not in for a by-the-numbers Hollywood production. The opening scene itself features a car driving towards the camera slowly, swerving back and forth knocking over wooden chairs before a cop pops out of the trunk and explains aspects from movies like E.T. and TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE that happen for no reason. Throughout the film the movie cuts from the action involving the tire to the crowd of spectators watching with binoculars as they bicker amongst themselves and complain about being hungry. Quentin Dupieux really takes the randomness in RUBBER to some pretty humorous levels.
If you can’t laugh at watching a tire rise from the dirt and start rolling along the desert terrain and fall over on its side multiple times then it’s likely you’re not going to get a lot of enjoyment here. RUBBER is full of some very quirky humor all involving rather or not you can buy into the fact that a tire can watch TV, peep on a woman in a shower, take a shower itself, have feelings and not to mention actually have the ability to blow up people’s heads with its mind. If that sounds like a good time to you then congrats, you have embraced the spirit of RUBBER.
The film is short but still might feel kind of long considering the main character doesn’t talk at all. Stephen Spinella as the lieutenant is pretty hilarious and my favorite scene comedically involves the lieutenant trying to trick the tire with a mannequin. The idea of RUBBER I find to be pretty brilliant, especially in the final reel, which I don’t want to spoil but I both laughed and acknowledged the back hand to the movie industry.
I could never really predict without fail or with complete confidence the type of audience that would enjoy a film like RUBBER. Film lovers will recognize that there is no argument for the quality of the filmmaking visually, the split would when artistic integrity is questioned. The integrity here being that not everyone sees the film industry quite like Quentin Duprieux, thus will not appreciate the movie for the message he’s pushing across. Coming from someone that enjoys the occasional Hollywood nonsense found the commentary hilarious and quite enjoyable, even if it would have been better suited that of a short film. As is though, RUBBER is a well shot, decently scripted and bloody anti-Hollywood farce destined for a hardcore cult following.