For some reason, Quentin Dupieux' serial killer tyre movie Rubber only had a few one-off screenings in London so I missed my chance to see it on the big screen. Should have made tracks I suppose. Rubber has divided critics into two groups - those who pun and those who don't.
I felt let down by the Guardian's reviewer - the best he could come up with was "a road movie with a difference." So thank heaven for Clare Moody at Filmwerk who put the pressure back on with "You'll be wishing for it to hit the road after the first 15 minutes." There were several retreads: Clare and also Tim Evans at Sky Movies thought it was "tiresome" while Rob Vaux at Mania review, Kurt Loder at Reason Online and Brian Orndorf at brianorndorf.com decided it either "exhausts itself" or "runs out of gas." Stephanie Zacharek at Movie Line goes one further, accusing the director of "overinflating" the picture while Glenn Kenny at MSN wished it looked "a little less, you know, plastic."
David Edwards of The Mirror disagrees, finding Rubber to be "a gripping experience." It "bounces gamely along" for Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times, "merrily rolls on" for Manohla Dargis, New York Times, and doesn't "follow in any other movie's treads" for Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail. According to Jason Anderson at Eye Weekly it's an "absurd and ingenious delight for any viewer willing to roll in its direction."
Cole Smithey at ColeSmithey.com gets the award for the most obvious missed pun with his conclusion "This film sucks." Blows, surely, Cole?
However the award for overall best review goes to Sukdev Sandhu at the Telegraph even with minimal punning. This is why I still want to see the film:
“There are advantages to having a tyre centre-screen. It’s a pleasing shape, dynamic and easy on the eye, and because of that large hole in the middle, it lends itself to framing the background scenery in a way that, say, Shia Labeouf, does not.
But the truth is, as a protagonist, the tyre leaves something to be desired. I’ve seen worse performances, but its range is surprisingly limited. It only comes in two modes: coasting, or venting (when he’s angry, he wobbles and undulates alarmingly). It wouldn’t be much of a stretch for any actor. For a tyre, you might say it’s stuck in a rut.”