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Film Review Rubber

Posted on by sam


Director Quentin Dupieux (2010)


Before I go into this review I have to declare a conflict of interest.


I FUCKING HATE that stupid techno tune Flatbeat and the ridiculous yellow puppet in the video. I hated it when it came out, I hated it when Levi’s started using it in every fifth advert broadcast on television and I hate the fact I still hear it sometimes blaring out of clubs playing nineties ‘classics’. Dupieux is the brainfart behind Flatbeat and this may prejudice my review.

Recommended to me by my middle brother, a connoisseur in all things horror and gore, Rubber is the classic tale of a psychic car tyre who goes around small desert town USA stalking French women and making peoples heads explode.

Read that again, paraphrase, car tyre comes to life, exploding heads, French women, yup it’s that sort of a film, luckily though, instead of even pretending to take itself seriously (teeth continue hanging your head in shame) Dupieux attempts to create a grand absurdist exploration of the genre with tongue firmly in cheek, aiming for humour as much as blood spatter.

[Pretentious rhetorical question alert!]

But is it worth watching?

Well speaking from a technical viewpoint, there’s some great tracks and pans following a tyre from its awakening, through it’s early days learning to roll until it’s eventual sexually repressed adult years, and there is a fun ‘twist’ at the end I doubt anyone can see coming. There’s also plenty of devised techno beats and remixes if you like that sort of thing. The editing’s pretty sleek and the camera shots are all gorgeous with a level an impressive level of depth.

Is it entertaining? Well its better then Flatbeat, but not enough for me to forgive Dupieux. I read one review that stated the film is 85 minutes too long. I think that’s harsh but near the point. The problem is the whole film tries to be too clever and the result is some really boring bits. There’s this whole subtext about audiences watching films and questions about reality, but they don’t really work. I think the problem there is the dialogue, a lot of what’s said thinks it’s funnier or more insightful than it actually is and just comes off as really inane. I get that that’s sort of the point, in the intro we’re told this film is an homage to the concept of ‘no reason’, but Rubber tries so hard to throw stuff in for ‘no reason’ that that becomes the reason half the crap actually happens.

The other problem is that so little is thrown in. It’s either tyre rolling around killing stuff, or characters talking blandly with knowing winks. It would have made a brilliant short, but as a feature it stretches a bit thin.

I do recommend seeing this film though, but don’t go out of your way, is an ok film, not great. A lot better then anything involving Flat Eric though!

Written by Sam ‘da da da da da, da da da da da, da da da duh da duh’ McKinstrie