Quentin Dupieux directs this inventive twist on low-rent revenge flicks, which follows a car tire named Robert that rolls through the desert Southwest using its strange psychic powers to blow up birds, bunnies, human beings and more. But when Robert spies a gorgeous woman motoring down the highway, he decides to follow her and take a chance on love. This gleefully over-the-top black comedy stars Cecelia Antoinette and Thomas F. Duffy.
Rating: 4 out of 10
I so badly wanted to love this movie. I saw the trailer for it and it seemed unbelievably quirky and weird enough to work. Unfortunately, the results are a mixed bag.
The tire actually has a personality in this film. It falls somewhere between curious and ill-tempered. In fact, I’ll go on record and admit that its “performance” in this film, through the handwork of solid special effects, is better than any acting I’ve ever seen out of Will Smith or Ashton Kutcher. Imagine if your entire career could be outdone by an inanimate object. In fact, Ashton Kutcher might actually qualify as an inanimate object, soooo…..anyway, I digress.
The film definitely works when the tire is rolling around and running into objects, people and animals. The tire either decides to see how it works or blow it up. I suppose that’s all you could really get from a homicidal tire. That’s really half the movie. The other half is this oddball concept that everything happening with the tire and everyone around it is a movie. There is then an “audience” that sits in the hills with binoculars and views the events unfold. Supposedly, all the people (minus the “audience”) are just actors putting on a show. This doesn’t work at all. It feels completely separate and diminishes any fun we’re having as we watch a tire roll around killing everything.
I’m not going to lie. I laughed my ass off at a few of the scenes. But, because of the 2nd part of the movie with the fake audience, it robs some of the humor. It’s a shame, too, because the killer tire concept is enough. Once you accept that, there was a lot for the tire to do and people to run into. How about it meets another tire and they go on the lamb together? How about the tire gets torn up and manages to get into a Goodyear store where he gets repaired? Or, how about it ends up at a NASCAR track where it teams up with all the other tires and starts killing the fans? You see, there was a lot you could have done with it. But, sometimes you can try to be too quirky…..