'Wrong': Creative cinematic diversion
By Kate Erbland, Special to MSN Movies
Absurdist filmmaker Quentin Dupieux's follow-up to his 2010 festival hit "Rubber" inches the artist ever closer to more mainstream recognition and relevance, but his latest feature, "Wrong," is still a far cry from traditional blockbuster material, a conceptual curio purely for hardcore cinephiles. Such a distinction will likely sit well with Dupieux, as the director himself seems far more concerned with stretching the make-believe aspects of filmmaking rather than delivering easily consumable bits of throwaway storytelling. After all, this is a man who made a film about a killer tire who stalks the high desert for fresh human prey while a pack of entertainment-obsessed observers follow his every move from the safety of a long distance and high-powered binoculars -- directing a comic book adaptation isn't exactly in his (perhaps murderous) wheelhouse.
But if Dupieux has kicked his tire obsession post-"Rubber," then just what is "Wrong" about?
Well, it's about a man and his dog. And an obsessive pizza delivery employee. And the world's worst gardener. And William Fichtner as a common criminal with some very uncommon flair. Dupieux's films rarely place a premium on their plots, with whatever creative set-up he puts in place merely acting as a stage for which his fantastically weird characters to play (and play they do). Starring Jack Plotnick as (seemingly) regular guy Dolph Springer, "Wrong" centers on Dolph's misadventure-laced quest to recover his best friend, his beloved dog Paul.
Dolph's desire to get back his furry friend ultimately leads him (and the audience, the more willing to enjoy the absurd, the better) on a series of wacky, weird fell-down-the-rabbit-hole adventures that increase in their unbelievability as the film winds on. Most of "Wrong" zips along light-heartedly and with the maximum of mirth, and it's perhaps one of the best purely cinematic diversions to hit screens in quite some time. Dupieux doesn't make films for everyone, but he does craft creative and abstract trips that are more than worth going on, even if they're fantastically difficult to explain to anyone who has yet to join the club.
Kate Erbland is a contributing writer for MSN Movies, a critic for Boxoffice Magazine, and an Associate Editor for Film School Rejects. She has been writing about movies since 2008, but has been thinking about movies for far longer. She lives in Los Angeles.