There you have it. I think along with Winter's Bone,127 Hours, a cute little Norwegian mockumentary about trolls, and Miike's amazing samurai epic 13 Assassins, Rubber is one of the film's that stood out for 2010. This is not just an outstanding satire of less than desirable films that are the result of consumerism, but Rubber manages to skewer all of Hollywood at large. It is both a film-within-film kind of commentary on some of the mediocrity mainstream film-goers will accept as worthy filmmaking, but it also manages to stand as a straightforward entertaining yarn provided you can appreciate absurd dark humor. It is full of appropriate metaphors while also remaining true to the genre it primarily targets. Fans who appreciate horror-comedies and the humor within ridiculous science fiction concepts will understand what Rubber is setting out to do, but in the end Rubber's intentions are even clearer; taking itself seriously would be the biggest violation toward reason of all.
Rubber starts out with a fantastic monologue by Stephen Spinella, who is absolutely on the ball with the film's overall thesis and delivers a remarkably enthusiastic performance. He is apparently telling a story about a murderous tire with psychokinetic powers and he is staging a live performance in front of about twenty or so gluttonous audience members who spectate from the desert with their binoculars. Several lines suggest that they are actually watching a movie. Its obvious mockery will rub some viewers the wrong way, especially while at the same time it is contrasted by a tire blowing people's heads up repeatedly, which of course I found wildly funny. Absurdist work is always polarizing and I'm sure many will not feel compelled to appreciate Rubber's odd narrative, but I sure did.
The film is meticulously handled. Every single character, every single line, every single shot in Rubber is handled as a part of the film, but it is the way in which its title character is humanized that makes Rubber a special film. He is a lost character within the desert that must dust himself off and keep soldiering on. He is ignored and misunderstood by those who would not think twice but throw him onto a pile with others of his ilk and light him ablaze. In the end he is bent on bringing with him the apocalypse aided by his fellow rubber friends and his powerful telekinesis. It is exactly that kind of sternness in Rubber coupled with its genuinely hilarious slapstick in other moments that make it simply unforgettable, but above all else Rubber remains a poignant commentary on movie making in general. Rubber is capable of a lot more than meets the eye and it will no doubt become more widely appreciated in the coming years.