Independent Film Review: Rubber (2010)

Realitism Films
Runtime: 82 Minutes
Rated: R (for some violent images and language)
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Writer: Quentin Dupieux
Starring: Stephen Spinella, Roxane Mesquida, Wings Hauser
Comedy | Horror | Drama

Rubber is an independent film by director Quentin Dupieux and is an almost existentialist examination of entertainment and the meaning of life. It is about a homicidal car tire that goes on a "roll" killing everything from bunnies to police officers with its telekinetic powers.

Roxane Mesquida, Stephen Spinella
Now normally, movies about life having no reason are themselves examples of movies with no reason to exist, but we get a big exception here. "Lieutenant Chad" (Stephen Spinella) - who is really more like a quiet and eccentric neighbor or teacher than a cop - starts us out with observations that are to be considered germane to the movie's successful reception...

"In the Steven Spielberg movie E.T., why is the alien brown? No reason. In Love Story, why do the two characters fall madly in love with each other? No reason. In Oliver Stone's JFK, why is the President suddenly assassinated by some stranger? No reason. In the excellent Chain Saw Massacre by Tobe Hooper, why don't we ever see the characters go to the bathroom or wash their hands like people do in real life? Absolutely no reason. Worse, in The Pianist by Polanski, how come this guy has to hide and live like a bum when he plays the piano so well? Once again the answer is, no reason. I could go on for hours with more examples. The list is endless. You probably never gave it a thought, but all great films, without exception, contain an important element of no reason. And you know why? Because life itself is filled with no reason."

When it opens, we are watching a gathering of people being handed binoculars to catch the action from afar. When "Robert the tire" rises up and begins his menacing journey, what becomes as apparent as our confusion is that it took a unique perspective to come up with such a concept in the first place--and good directorial skill to make something like this watchable.

In a surreal themed film about a murdering tire wanting to watch tv and go swimming, the viewer will have to make some sacrifices by way of traditional expectations, but this shouldn't be hard when what we get is both a lesson in what to expect from life and an oddly humorous horror movie that is nonetheless terrifying when contemplated.

It is well within the realm of fairness to call this a work of creative genius, as there is not much that could have been done to improve upon it. And when it fails to answer the questions it raises, you'll realize by then that what it left you with is really the entire reason we cherish our entertainment to begin with.