When your first feature film concerns a seeming ordinary tire with telekinetic powers that goes on a killing spree while pursuing the young woman that he is obsessed with, what can you possibly offer viewers for an encore? In the case of Quentin Duplaix, who did just that with the oddball cult favorite "Rubber," he has chose to double-down on the crazy with the hallucinatory black comedy "Wrong." For those who felt that "Rubber" was too straight-laced for their own good, "Wrong" may be right up their metaphorical alley but for everyone else, it may prove to be too much of a not-that-great thing.Set in a seemingly ordinary but utterly bizarre world in which alarm clocks go off at 7:60 AM, rainstorms occur inside of office buildings and pizza delivery girls are nymphomaniacs who look like Alexis Dziena, the film opens as ordinary dope Dolph (Jack Plotnick) wakes up to discover that his beloved dog has vanished without a trace. His search takes him on a series of strange encounters with people like a neighbor who violently denies that he is a jogger, the aforementioned delivery girl, a sleazy gardener who impersonates him in order to get with said delivery girl and a self-help guru (William Fichtner) whose entire philosophy is based upon dognapping as a way of unlocking human potential.
Although I wasn't as much of a fan of "Rubber" as some people were--it was a little too clever for its own good at times and probably would have been far more effective as a short subject--it was certainly well-made and demonstrated that Duplaix was a filmmaker willing to follow the beat of his own drummer in the manner of such masters of the outré as Luis Bunuel and David Lynch. The trouble with "Wrong" is that, unlike the finest works of Bunuel and Lynch, the whole thing has the self-conscious feel of someone who is trying way too hard to make the weirdest movie imaginable and after a while, the sheer effort begins to weigh the entire film down. There is always the nagging sense that instead of coming up with a fully-formed idea, Duplaix merely gathered up a bunch of concepts that he wasn't able to full flesh out and simply stuck them together at random and hoped for the best."Wrong" is not a very good movie by most conventional standards and most viewers will quickly grow weary of it. That said, it has been made with some degree of skill and it contains an amusing performance from Fichtner, who has made a career out of appearances as the scene-stealing weird guy in films that Christopher Walken is unable to work into his schedule. It also shows that Quentin Duplaix does indeed have a certain flair for filmmaking that cannot be denied, even if it has not yet resulted in an unquestionably good movie. Perhaps the next time around, he can make a film in collaboration with someone who can help him shape and refine his good ideas while dumping the bad ones. If this happens, maybe then he can finally unleash the truly memorable movie that he seems poised to make but has not quite managed to achieve as of yet.
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