It’s a comforting feeling when a movie delivers exactly what you would expect from it. The world just seems to make more sense when the villain gets what he deserves, the guy gets the girl, and the killer comes back for one last scare. However, there is something to be said about breaking away from what is expected and venturing into the unexpected. “Rubber” is a movie about a sentient car tire that discovers it has the telekinetic ability to blow up peoples’ heads. Cool, right? However, rather than being mindless B-movie schlock, “Rubber” is actually a commentary on B-movies in general and the audiences that watch them. As interesting as that might have been, I wish “Rubber” had been more about exploding heads and been less of a David Lynch mindfuck.
The general message that “Rubber” is trying to convey is that B-movies are only made because there is always an audience out there waiting with bated breath to see more. “Rubber” probably has one of the most ridiculous premises for a movie I’ve ever heard of, but I was kicking myself for not watching it until recently. I live for this exact type of movie.
Just last year I watched a movie called “Thankskilling” about a turkey that goes on a killing spree. The turkey looked about as good as a comedian’s rubber chicken, but I laughed the entire time. The reason that I wish “Rubber” had worked within conventional B-movie cliches like “Thankskilling” and not ventured into the realm of social commentary, is that I am fully aware of the role I play in propagating this type of movie. If I don’t like a type of laundry detergent, I’ll stop buying it and get another. If enough people feel the same way I do then the the company that distributes the detergent will probably go out of business. My point is that a perfectly good B-movie premise was wasted telling me something I already knew.
If you’re able to look past some of the bizarre aspects of this film (aside from the sentient tire), it is a somewhat amusing movie. The sheriff character usually has some colorful commentary to add to a scene and the audience made me chuckle a few times as they stared at the tire from afar with their binoculars. Even the tire was funny sometimes as it went on a rampage leaving a bloody mess of headless corpses in its wake.
One aspect of the movie I was impressed with was the special effects. The tire is often rolling around seemingly free from wires, and it is not computer generated. However the tire was created to roll around in a “natural” way, it made me believe that it could in fact be alive.
“Rubber” is an interesting movie to say the least. I appreciate the effort to be more than a B-movie, but I don’t typically watch B-movies for a message. The premise is amusing, and the special effects help drive it home, but it becomes a perplexing chore to watch after a while. I would not recommend this movie when there are plenty of other B-movies out there that need love too.
tl;dr Rubber Review: The Movie that goes from zero to sixty in five seconds and then you realize that your car was in park the whole time.