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Rubber


Despite conspiracy theorists and fuzzy pictures, there is no proof of alien life…yet. So why do directors/producers have certain styles for creating their aliens? No reason. Why do serial killers have a certain motivation that gets revealed and ultimately leads to their capture? No reason. So what happens when you take every possible “no reason” moment and put it in one film? You get Rubber.

Grade:

Rubber is, essentially, about a telepathic – excuse me, psychokinetic – tire that goes on a homicidal streak that would make Charles Manson blush. The side story to this is people corralled in the desert with binoculars watching the tire go on its killing spree as if they were an audience in a theater.

Rubber openly admits from the beginning that it will make no sense and not really be a riveting story. The audience members in the desert act out all of the thoughts that go through your head while watching the film, particularly “well, this is boring.” The lieutenant serves as the provider of information about the film. Other than his occasional input, very little is explained and left to the viewer to answer with “no reason.”

The scenes involving the audience are moderately humorous because they mock the typical people in theaters. The obnoxious teenagers, talkative movie nerds and grumpy elderly people all make appearances until midway through the film when the audience becomes a non-factor (slight spoiler, but you won’t watch this anyway so does it matter?). Their only contact to the outside world is through a squirrely man, who seems to be working in fear of a “master”, but this is mentioned one time, and never mentioned again – probably the most annoying unexplained feature of the film.

The footage of the tire is intriguing at first due to the close-up nature of the camera angles. This, as can be expected from following a tire for an hour, gets boring and tedious. The kills become the only moments of excitement. They acquire the tension of the moment in a football (or hockey) game where you can see a big hit coming and it results in an excited “Ayyyyy”, followed immediately by a restless calm until the next moment of excitement. Rubber makes you wait for these moments because you are watching a murderous tire…

It boggles my mind that such a respected studio, Canal+, decided to adopt this film until you remember it’s a French studio and they enjoy mocking others, especially in film since they are the rightful heirs to the original Lumiere Brothers films. The first half hour or so are interesting and fun, but the film is relatively boring – did I mention you’re watching a movie about a tire? I admit I was intrigued by the unique concept of a tire killing people (as well as a promise of Mr. Oizo that didn’t come until the ending credits) and curious to see if they could pull it off. Like I said, they do for thirty minutes, but after that why would you keep watching? No reason.

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