Starring: Stephen Spinella, Roxane Mesquida, Wings Hauser
Director: Quentin Dupieux
Running Time: 82 mins
Rubber is a French film about a tyre that comes to life and discovers that it has telepathic powers which enable it to destroy anything in its path, sending it on a killing spree in a desert town where it seeks out one particular woman, as a crowd of viewers watch from a hill at a distance.
Well, the way that this panned out was the exact opposite to what I expected. Unlike some indie comedy-horrors with a good premise that are executed terribly, this starts off with an idiotic premise, but ends up working quite well. Of course, there’s no denying that its quirkiness wares thin within minutes, but its originality is certainly admirable, and is definitely not frustratingly idiotic in the end.
Let’s start with what’s bad about this film. Firstly, the premise is just stupid. On the face of things, a tyre going around killing people (in pretty gory detail) for an hour and a half isn’t the most thrilling or intriguing story. Also, there’s a really odd secondary story to the whole film, which, although being the most impressively original part of the whole story, does eventually grow a little annoying at times.
The other problem with this film is that it often thinks it’s a lot better and cleverer than it actually is. Again, there’s no doubting that its ideas are original, and although it presents them in a deliberately non-sensical way, describing itself as “an homage to ‘no reason’ in film”, it’s not that funny, and can seem a little pretentious at points.
However, I was hugely surprised by the fact that this film, on the whole, wasn’t bad. It’s got one of the most bizarre plot structures I’ve ever seen, but it does intrigue you and grab your attention from the beginning, even if it’s a little bit annoying to try and get your head around…
Oddly, this film is also quite well-paced. Yes, it does revolve around a tyre rolling around at about 2 miles an hour killing people, however, apart from the slow opening stages, it actually moves along at an entertaining pace throughout the main bulk of the film, while it also switches between its primary and secondary plot lines often enough to really keep your interest in both stories, making it often a little easier to get your head round.
Overall, this gets a 6.0, because despite being a little pretentious, quite annoying, and having a terrible premise, it unexpectedly delivers in making an engaging and fantastically original story.