First, let me air out the laundry. Rubber is the worst movie that I have ever watched taking everything in to consideration. I have no doubts and I don’t envision a change of heart any time soon. Previously the title of worst movie was held by Dragonball: Evolution, but Rubber is considerably the more rotten of the two. It’s not because I don’t get what they’re going for with this film. I get it, and I don’t like it.
I feel that it’s safe to say that the title of “visionary filmmaker” was a self-appointed one by Quentin Dupieux, who sometimes calls himself “Mr. Oizo” in an effort to be the most ostentatious asshole on the planet. His name can only be all over this trash in big bold letters for his own vanity, because “Quentin Dupieux” certainly doesn’t sell tickets. The only other possibility is that he is a possessive child who likes to write his name on his toys.
Rubber is a film that makes another banal attempt of mocking the monstrosity that is Hollywood. It’s a film with a mantra of “No reason.” In a fourth wall breaking opening monologue, the film’s lead actor rams the “No Reason” doctrine down your throat out of your digestive system and back again. In the monologue, the lead actor reaches Insane Clown Posse levels of philosophizing by asking speculative questions like, “Why is E.T. brown?” and “Why is Kennedy assassinated in the film JFK?” and only offers the answer of “No Reason.” He even asks why characters don’t go to the bathroom in Texas Chainsaw Massacre, when they actually do reference having to go in the beginning of the film. Rubber starts with a major oversight and only continues in mediocrity throughout.
Rubber includes a chorus, much like a Classical Greek drama. They comment on the goings on throughout the film and have all sorts of meta conversations about the tire having sex and how one shouldn’t pirate movies. In the case of Rubber, the chorus is distracting and unfunny. The chorus is like a laugh track in a comedy. I don’t need to be reminded to laugh if something is funny. I just do. The chorus eventually dies because a stereotypical ’80s nerd kills them with poisoned meat. Cue laugh the laugh track.
The dialogue was written by someone who has never had a human conversation before. Instead of showing emotions through a multitude of established visual devices, the filmmaker has actors say “I’m mad” or even “I’m very mad” if they have passed the point of just being regular mad. The writing in this film will have your eyes looking like slot machines because they will be rolling in the back of their sockets so much. The worst line in the film? When attempting to find the tire, one character asks “Is it black?” – I’m sure the writer is still laughing about this one to himself.
The thing is, I get what the filmmaker is attempting to do. It doesn’t escape me. A humanized tire? Yeah, I can suspend my belief there. A film critical of Hollywood? I like The Player. What the filmmaker is going for, I totally get it. The thing is, it’s a lazy attempt, and poorly executed. The most bleak part of it all, is that the director can hide behind his adolescent nihilism as an excuse for his disastrous creation and just say “No Reason.” If you want to see this philosophy in full effect, watch American Beauty of A Clockwork Orange. Those are true efforts in the genre, and explore the philosophy thoroughly. This is arthouse filth and only those devoid of real world experience who are seeking to be different will admit to enjoying it. The director can blame his existence or society all he wants for this garbage, when in the end he is solely at fault.
Near the end, when the tire is reincarnated as a tricycle, Rubber reaches a point of immaturity that makes you ask yourself, “Can this movie get any more juvenile?” The answer is yes. The tricycle and all of its tire buddies roll up to the Hollywood sign and just sit there. “Look everyone, I am mocking Hollywood,” – Quentin Dupieux.
A turd in a box with a bow on it isn’t a present. It’s a turd in a confined space. Rubber is a turd in a confined space. Even in an infinite number of timelines, with an infinite number of possibilities, I can’t imagine ever liking Rubber. It’s the Superman 64 of movies. If Hell exists, it’s watching Rubber on repeat for eternity. No, Hell is watching Rubber once. Watching Rubber for eternity is worse than eternal damnation.
What could have made Rubber niche and interesting is making a horror film about a tire. The premise alone gives so much room for quirkiness and spoofery. Instead, the director is too interested in reminding people just how clever he is by cutting to all things uninteresting throughout the film. Rubber is the obese, pimply fedora wearing neckbeard of movies. The only fitting end to this saga is for the director to make his eventual exit in a massive tire fire.
I give it no severed LEGO arms out of five. It’s that awful.