Quentin Dupieux's "Rubber" remains one of the most ridiculously inventive movies of recent years, an alternate universe horror film about a tire that gains telekinetic powers.
But the writer-director's new work, "Wrong," never finds quite the right course.
"Wrong" centers on a grown man who goes looking for his lost dog. In one sense, that's all the story there is, but because Dupieux is interested more in stream of consciousness than straightforward logic, the film is crammed full of incidents and characters.
In "Rubber," the filmmaker's carefree attitude toward reality and linear thinking provided an unexpected energy and sense of freedom where it seemed anything could happen.
In "Wrong," however, Dupieux seems unable to focus, as if he is just switching channels, haphazardly stringing together one out-there idea or image after another.
"Rubber" had a diffuse layering of storytelling - there was the tire story but also a group of people who had paid to watch it - but in "Wrong" Dupieux attempts to play something of a shell game as to how it fits together. He intermixes strands of the lost dog and his owner, a dim-witted pizza girl, a gardener, a detective and a self-interested self-help guru (the cast, including Jack Plotnick, William Fichtner, Alexis Dziena and Steve Little, is intermittently fun to watch).
"Rubber" felt inventive and complex, but here Dupieux's absurdism is simply muddled, masking the fact he doesn't really have much to say.
• Not rated.
• Director: Quentin Dupieux
• Cast Jack Plotnick, Eric Judor, Alexis Dziena, Todd Giebenhain
• Running time: 94 minutes.