Rubber (2010)

by George Watches Things


The main character of Rubber finds a plastic water bottle. He crushes it. He enjoys the feeling of destruction. He then comes across a scorpion. He crushes it. He enjoys it even more.

The main character of Rubber is a tire. He enjoys blowing things up through mind-control so much, in fact, that he has begun doing it to humans. This movie has a very clear message: destruction and harm are real. In the film, everything surrounding this homicidal tire is fake. It’s all part of a show put on for a bunch of people who, you guessed it, end up dead. But not at the hand (or… leg?) of the tire. Instead, it was a human who poisoned their food. Everything surrounding the damage is fake, but the damage itself is very real.

Early on, one of the characters breaks the fourth wall, explaining that every great movie has an imperfection; something that is in it for no reason at all. A lot is missing from Rubber. We never get an explanation for some things.

I got a bit agitated when characters started giving their takes on the story. I felt it gave too many explanations. I wondered if that’s all certain characters were there for, but I got an answer quickly. Soon after a scene in which they nearly rip each other to shreds over turkey meat, the entire “audience” dies, bar one man. He calls his former watching-partners “animals” while he refuses to eat.

The characters meant nothing. I knew nothing of them, not even their names. They just appeared, played a role, then left. The tire was the most round of the characters. (Laugh. It was a solid pun.) During one scene, while he’s watching fellow tires burn in a bonfire (yes, the film has environment overtones, and they work), he shows great emotion depth.

The film ends. Everybody goes back to what they were doing. Except the tire, who is now reincarnated into a tricycle. He has more victims, and perhaps a sequel, in his future.