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Review: Rubber

 Quentin Dupieux has something more malevolent, and meta, in mind
By BETSY SHERMAN  |  April 27, 2011
2.0 2.0 Stars

When a tire lifts itself from the desert sand of the West and rolls down the road to the sound of recorder music, it feels like one of those old Film Board of Canada shorts about the triumph of the spirit. But writer/director Quentin Dupieux has something more malevolent, and meta, in mind. As the tire becomes aware of its power first to crush things, and then to explode things telekinetically, the low-budget Rubber becomes part slasher-movie spoof, part self-reflexive Theater of the Absurd. In a prologue, a sheriff (Stephen Spinella) faces the camera and asks why certain movies contain certain elements. "No reason," he concludes. Pull back to reveal spectators (sorry — Spectators), who will stand in the desert watching the tire through binoculars. It's moderately fun to watch the tire — to which we easily ascribe thoughts and feelings — stalk a woman to a motel; it's neither fun nor enlightening to observe the observers and the enigmatic functionary (Jack Plotnick) who manipulates them.

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