Hey folks, Valkor here. You know I've always wondered if a show like Seinfeld, a show about nothing, could ever translate onto the big screen. Then I sat down and watched Rubber (written and directed by Quentin Dupieux) and it tells me that yes there can exist a film about nothing and also be entertaining.
Rubber stars Robert, an automobile tire that suddenly comes to life. Slowly as it gains its bearings, it begins to realize it has psycho-kinetic powers to destroy anything he sees. He soon sets his sights on a lone woman driver named Sheila (Roxane Mesquida), whom he becomes obsessed with and follows to a lone desert town. Pretty soon heads begin exploding and only one boy named Zach (Remy Thorne) knows the truth behind the killings.
That's only one part of the story as this is one of those "film within a film" type scenarios. Right from the beginning Lieutenant Chad (Stephen Spinelli) addresses an audience about films with "no reason". You think he's talking to you – and to some extent, he is. But there's actually an audience before him, who watch the events unfold through binoculars, as if they're watching a movie. They even goes so far as to make movie theater type commentary about each scene.
But Chad (whom I'm guessing is directing the proceedings), has the audience poisoned by his accountant (Jack Plotnick), so that this whole charade can end and everyone can go home. The irony is, so long as just one person is watching, the actual players continue to play out there role as if they were real, even when faced with actual evidence that everything is fake. The one lone audience member left behind is an unknown who's stricken to a wheelchair (Wing Hauser) and the only person who didn't eat the poisoned food; he wants to see this thing through till the end, which sees Robert killed and brought back to life... as a tricycle. One who will lead an army of tires to unleash havok upon our world. Or so we assume, as at that this point, the film is over.
In the end, why does a tire come to life, fall in love, and starts killing people? No reason. Why is the 4th wall being destroyed for the sake of entertainment? No reason. Why is Valkor paraphrasing a line that was done much better in the film? No reason. And with that, we move on to the TOV Breakdown.
Rubber combines all the elements of a perfect film - great story, acting, and it's an appropriate length. The story (if you wanna call it that) is easy to follow, horrific and funny. You'll laugh, you'll cringe, and you'll laugh and cringe some more. The acting is more or less B movie, but for this type of film, it's acceptable. Wing Hauser is the true stand out as he has the best scenes in the film, when he leaves his post as an audience member and unwittingly becomes one of the cast members. But he does what we've all wanted to do, which is to step inside the film and start calling the shots, telling the actors what to do and what not to do. Then there's Stephen Spinelli, from the moment he's on screen, you're gonna love this guy and you're gonna hate him a little too. He's funny, clever and a touch smug. And to those who brought Robert to life – Kudos! You will believe that a tire can open a door, turn on a TV, or drink from a puddle. Talk about personification. The pacing is brisk and even, those 80 minutes will simply coast by. Finally PerfectView goodness goes out to Roxane Mesquida, who was lookin all kinds of good in this film. And I would have found it hilarious if she did have a love scene with Robert. Or would that have gone too far?
When Zach puts bits of a dead bird on his dad's pizza to get back at him for yelling at him. Nice.
Rubber is the most original. most enjoyable, and most entertaining film I've seen in a long time. I can't believe that I'm giving high praise on a film that centers on a tire! But I am and it's a great film that's an instant classic. I highly recommend checking it out. And out of TOV 5 stars, I give Rubber a perfect 5! And it's Valkor Viewed, TOV Approved!