YOU'VE GOT TO HAND IT to French director/writer Quentin Dupieux: His film Rubber has a bloody brilliant premise. Robert, an abandoned car tire (?!), wakes from an inanimate slumber in the wilds of a desert to become a sentient, thrill-seeking—and eventually bloodthirsty—force of nature. It's a road movie starring a vengeful telekinetic tire who's like the improbable lovechild of Carrie and Christine. Hot sauce, that's a good idea, and Rubber is as stylish as all get-out, with the tire rolling through the scenic landscape expressing a surprising amount of emotions while stalking a leggy brunette, killing for sport, and evading the local law enforcement.
Unfortunately, the rest of Rubber's execution is (ahem) tiresome, completely stripping the potential goofy mayhem of the plotline and making a quirky, meta-happy, wankjob of an art film. Even among all of these psychokinetic bird explosions, head burstings, and carnal lustings, Rubber is too deconstruction-happy, and dare I say too French, to be any sort of fun. The trailer, however, is pure magic—apparently, two minutes' worth of fun is all a killer-tire movie has to offer. The rest of the time, the film is weighed down by fourth-wall film criticism and audience-within-an-audience muck.