Review 10: Rubber (2010)
I spent last week watching some great films with some amazing names like Leonardo DiCaprio, Johnny Depp, John C Riley, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, and Matt Damon. I thought tonight I would mix it up and watch a comedy-horror film that a couple of my friends have told me about. It’s a B movie with indie style cinematography. “What’s it about,” you are probably wondering to yourself. Well, my intrigued reader, it’s about…NOTHING!
Rubber has a 5.8 out of 10 stars on IMDB and a 68% on Rotten Tomatoes, and that may be a bit generous. The film opens with some interesting shots of chairs in the desert. A car coming down the road soon disrupts those chairs, but the cinematography in this sequence gives hope to this odd scene. A police officer exists from the trunk, yeah, the trunk, and addresses the audience. The series of statements that are made are more and more ridiculous and sets the tone of the film. What the audience is about to watch is a “homage to nothing.”
The meta-humor of the film is strong with characters voicing the opinions of the audience. A spectator says, “It’s already boring,” but is quickly scolded by his father with “just be patient.” I was, and it doesn’t get much better. There are some really cool shots, but at one point, while the camera was closely following a subject, I started feeling dizzy. The focus on the shots is odd at time and a bit shaky. However, there are some great shots following the lead character, which is probably an antagonist, but could be the protagonist, or it could just…BE!
The director does some cool stuff with the music. Specifically, after the lead kills his third victim, I should mention that the lead is…SPOILER ALERT…a killer tire, a 70’s style song kicks on and the tire seems to dance slightly. The sound, which appears to be non-diegetic at first becomes a cool transition/introduction to the female lead, who is played by Roxane Mesquida, as the song is playing in her car as she passes the tire.
The head explosions that occur in the film are pretty decent special effects work, and had to the craziness of the film. It may be this film was a fever dream of writer/director Quentin Dupieux, or perhaps he did some peyote in the desert where the film would eventually be set.
Aside from decent cinematography and audio, the best part of this movie was the runtime of only 83 minutes, but I suppose the acting of the police officer, Lieutenant Chad, played by Stephen Spinella (who’s credits include Milk, Lincoln, and The Jackal) did an amazing job. He was funny and seemed committed to the role. The film has a few redeeming qualities, but ultimately is exactly what it claimed to be, a film about nothing. If you want to mess with your friends this might be the film to invite them over to Netflix and kill with psionic power! I give Rubber the rating of 4 out of 10 Flat Tires!