Horror. Worldview. Faith.

Rubber – Review

Rubber – Review

Feb 18, 2014

reviewed by Philip
directed by Quentin Dupieux, 2010
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Rubber is a self-proclaimed homage to “no reason.” At the beginning of the film we meet Chad, a California sheriff who describes one thing that virtually all movies have in common to one degree or another – no reason. Why is E.T. brown? No reason. Why was JFK shot? No reason. This, he says, is the reason Rubber was created. No reason.

We discover there are two audiences watching the movie. Us, the audience watching a screen, and an assembled group of people in the movie itself who are handed a set of binoculars in a California dessert. Presumably, we are watching the same series of events unfold. And what might those be?

Oh you know, just your average horror movie stuff. An old tire in the middle of a garbage dump comes to life for no reason and begins running over things. First it is just a bottle and other kinds of trash, but then it moves on to living things, like a scorpion. When it discovers that it cannot break a certain glass bottle, the tire discovers it posses a certain kind of psychokinetic power and blows it up. Well, the sky’s the limit now, and the tire begins blowing up rabbits, humans, and anything else in its way.

The only plot to speak of is when the tire becomes infatuated with a woman who is staying at a hotel. After blowing up the motel manager’s head, the police begin a tire hunt. For no reason, the audience inside the film are all poisoned and killed, except from one guy in a wheelchair who did not eat the poisoned food. The tire is eventually shot by Chad, but is reincarnated as a tri-cycle that ends up killing the man in the wheel chair.

No, I’m not kidding.

This is definitely not a good movie and I certainly can’t recommend it, but I do find the premise to be intriguing. Does the presupposition guiding the movie even hold up? Was E.T. brown for no reason? Was JFK shot for no reason? Perhaps not good reasons, but there are reasons nevertheless. What Rubber tries to do is pretend it doesn’t care about what really makes movies entertaining and attempts to be stylistic and smart. As is so often the case, the smarter we think we are, the dumber we become.

The fascinating aspect of Rubber is the connection it has with a secular humanist worldview. The film dares you to try and make sense of what is happening and that is very thing each of us will do because we are hard wired to connect the dots. But it has already given you the answer – there is no reason to the film. This is secular humanism in a nutshell. Such a worldview attempts to take admittedly random things and create joy, purpose, and significance out them. But really, they make as much sense as a tire coming back to life with psychokinetic powers.

All in all, Rubber is a film you wish you would have never watched and only should be watched on a portable digital device if you are stuck in a bus for a few hours. Other than that, forget about it.

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