Movies: Rubber Defies Reason and Entertains

By Aaron Thies

Trying to explain the movie Rubber is like trying to lead a pep assembly full of teenagers in a cheer: it’s going to be messy, so bear with me. The central point Rubber revolves around is the cinematic element of “no reason,” which is basically writer/director Quentin Dupieux’s way of saying, “I don’t get it either.” This movie would be extremely hard to watch if not for the fact that it explains all of this in the first scene. After that’s taken into account, Rubber flies smoothly and is quite entertaining to watch.

rubber_ver2_xlgFollowing with the theme of “no reason,” the main protagonist of Rubber happens to be an orphaned tire, abandoned in the desert of California, that gains sentience (the ability to move on it’s own volition) and the psychic power of blowin’ stuff up with his mind.  The tire’s main goal in his new life is to meet a beautiful woman who is driving in her red BMW convertible, heading to Hollywood. Though his goal seems noble, Robert (apparently the tire’s name is Robert) is an exceptionally bloodthirsty protagonist and viciously murders anything that does him wrong, gets in his way, or just annoys him. Robert starts his killing spree by rolling over a scorpion, and it’s all down hill from there.

Rubber has a somewhat small cast of characters who actually matter. There’s the Greek chorus/movie audience who are viewing Robert’s adventure from afar: binoculars in hand they always have some commentary or opinion about the events that take place. There’s also a sheriff named Chad who just happens to be my favorite character in the whole movie. Sheriff Chad is the man who gives the monologue about “no reason,” and, as we learn later in the movie, is one hundred percent convinced that he’s an actor in a movie and everyone in this movie, excluding the audience members, are also actors. Sheriff Chad is the only character that thinks this way and his trying to convince the other sheriffs is the best scene in the whole movie.

Looking past all the strange things done with the story and my total lack of understanding the first time I watched it, this movie is good . . . in it’s own special way. Overall the cinematography is on par, save for a few awkward shots. Whoever was in charge of controlling the tire deserves an award because they were able to convey a tire’s emotions. Rubber is a movie that is impossible to understand, but that’s fine. There too many movies that spend too much time on exposition and explaining the motives of every single character, talking down to us, the audience, like we belong in the first grade. Though this movie is far from perfect, it’s a nice break from the expected, and anyone looking for something interesting to watch should definitely check out Rubber.