Reviews

Rubber

3

Putting the ire into tyre…

Rubber review

Viewers assemble in the desert as a movie unfolds before them. “Amazing! It’s got telepathic powers,” says one onlooker. “You mean psychokinetic,” corrects another.

They’re talking about an abandoned car tyre that has inexplicably come to life and embarked on a kill-spree, starting small by squishing a scorpion but graduating to humans when it discovers the ability to bang heads, Scanners-style. 

A-rolling and a-wobbling past grocery stores, gas stations and motels, our rubber-souled protagonist cuts an increasingly bloody swathe while finding time to fixate on Roxane Mesquida, take a post-coital shower, watch NAS CAR races on TV (surrounded by dead bodies), stew in existential crisis at the bottom of a swimming pool à la Benjamin Braddock and, in one ingenious sequence, discover a sense of identity in front of a mirror. 

An exceptionally well-made monster movie/slasher movie parody that maxes its absurdity by playing it literal and naturalistic, Rubber rides out its 78-minute running time, just, by working in perceptive, lightly worn musings on art and artifice, fact and fiction. 

Scenes of the spectators squabbling among themselves and fighting over a plate of (poisoned) turkey are positively Buñuelian, but the overriding vibe is one of freshness and originality. 

The disc wheels out just four interviews. Easily the best is writer/director Quentin Dupieux being quizzed by a blow-up doll; the tyre was controlled remotely, we’re told, and the film’s funny, genuinely apocalyptic climax was hit upon at the very end of the 14-day shoot.

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