Friday, April 01, 2011

Beware of the angry tire!!!

Rubber (2010, France, Quentin Dupieux)

Very few films come with an inbuilt cult classic quality like Quentin Dupieux’s Rubber. A film about a killer tire advertised with some stunning posters easily makes for plenty of buzz and anticipation.

The opening few minutes of Rubber strengthen that cult status with a hilarious monologue which features a cop who faces the camera to describe various sequences that happen in other films for "no reason".

His words prepare the audience to suspend any logic while watching Rubber. Of course, no amount of logic can ever explain a killer tire but the cop’s words ensure that the film gets a critic proof pass. The story then hilariously adds a fake audience within the film who are witnessing the same movie as us, although they are watching the action with binoculars.

The presence of the fake audience turns Rubber into a live reality show within the scripted film that we the audience are watching. The opening sequences of the cinematic reality tire show depict how the tire is awakened and slowly learns to master his psychic killing abilities. At first, the fake audience is amazed and shocked by the tire’s new found powers. Eventually, the novelty wears thin and the audience is bored, especially by long periods of the tire’s inactivity which involve the tire just staying stationery and pondering about his next move. Things take an interesting turn when the tire goes for a drive down the highway and falls for a young woman. The tire follows her and waits for an appropriate opportunity to make another move. In the meantime, the tire takes out his anger on other victims by blowing them up.

The film's posters point to a 1970’s kind of slasher/killer film with plenty of gore but that is not the case. Some blood is shed but not on the scale as indicated by the posters. Instead, Rubber tries to use the 70’s look to incorporate some absurd situations, dry humour and artistic elements. Unfortunately, thirty minutes into the film, the fake audience angle wears thin and the jokes dry out. Some life is injected into the film for brief periods before things come to a standstill again. It is not until the final moments when things truly get interesting after a tricycle gathers an army of killer tires. Alas, the film ends before we get to witness the army of killer tires in action. Why? No reason...

except to leave the door open for a sequel?

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