Thursday, July 7, 2011

The Cynic Reviews Rubber

I can say now, with the utmost conviction, that Rubber is the greatest movie to ever center around a sentient tire named Robert who uses his telekenetic powers to blow up faces and stuff. Of course, it's the only such movie, but therein lies the main reason to watch this odd little film: it's original. Love it or hate it, there is simply nothing else on this earth that's anything like it. And in this age of increasingly dull remakes, reboots, and sequels, originality is always something to celebrate.
        Even if it is completely and utterly batshit crazy. Which is Rubber in a nutshell. I can't really explain what it's really about, but I can easily say what it is- weird as balls.
        I'm not going to try to accurately describe the plot of this movie. If you want to know what it's about, you can watch it for yourself. See, this isn't just a film about a killer tire. No, it's surprisingly much, much more bizarre than that. There are two principal parts to this movie: one half centers around Robert, a psychokenetic tire who has it out for the world (after all, what sentient tire wouldn't), and falls in love with a beautiful woman passing through the nameless city he terrorizes. The other part surrounds this motif, and is way stranger and almost impossible to summarize. Suffice to say, it has something to do with a cop who tries to convince everybody that this whole thing isn't real, and is actually a show for a group of spectators he has to kill to end the movie, and that it gets so meta it hurts.
        Confused yet? Understandable. But that's just because you're overthinking things. You have to be overthinking things at this point because, as the policeman explains in the glorously odd opening scene, the point of this movie is that there is no point to this movie. Everything in Rubber happens for absolutely no reason. Because that's life. So many things in life are just there just because. Have you ever asked yourself why you can't see the air around you? Is there really an answer? Do you really care? In order to enjoy Rubber, you must first grasp that it's not that direcor Quentin Dupieux isn't trying to say anything, but that he's actively trying to say nothing. It's a cool little bit of pseudo-philisophical, neo-dadaist cinema.
         But I'm gonna stop myself from waxing philisophical right there in order to keep myself from sounding like some pretentious asshole who's trying to tell you that you're "totally, like, missing the whole, like, freakin' point, dude". In fact, it's impossible to, like, totally miss the whole, like, freakin' point, because there really isn't any point. Dupieux is just screwing with our heads, and he wants us to know it. This is the film's biggest strength, but also its biggest weakness. Sometimes it tries too hard to be clever, and gets too meta. How meta, you ask? So meta that Charlie Kaufman wants to know what kind of drugs Dupieux is on.
        But I'm gonna stop myself from making anymore eggheaded film references before I sound too much like a pretentious asshole. Suffice to say, it gets a little irksome. It also pads a little too much at the end in order to reach a freature length running time (albeit a slight one) of 84 minutes.
       But I could bitch on and on about this movie's faults, but the truth is I liked Rubber. I really liked it. And the more I think about it, the more I like it. I went into this expecting a dumb-fun kind of horror-comedy, but Rubber turned out to be so much more than that. It's way, way smarter than a movie about a killer tire has any right to be, and as I said before, it truly is one of the most original pieces of cinema I've ever seen. It's not for everybody, of course. But then again, no film pleases everybody. If you're an eggheaded film geek like myself, you're probably gonna get a kick out of Rubber. If you're not an eggheaded film geek, you're probably gonna be at least a little annoyed by it. But what do I know. Bottom line: if you were already intending to see Rubber, do it. If you weren't, but you'd like a good discussion piece, check it out.
        There are probably a lot of people out there who absolutely hated Rubber, and that's their right. But screw them. I liked it. In my opinion, it's that rare kind of movie that was fun without me having to leave my overanalasyis-prone brain at the door. And that, folks, is a cause for celebration. Grade: A-

No comments:

Post a Comment