Rubberneck an Intense Thriller
Alex Karpovsky is the writer, director and star of Rubberneck. He plays Paul, an awkward guy who works in a laboratory just outside Boston. He has an affair with Danielle (Jamie Ray Newman), a co-worker, during a holiday weekend and he has been dominated by her since then.
Rubberneck feels like a suspense thriller but in reality it is a character study. Right from the start Paul is seen as a loner. He has no friends and spends his idle time in the company of his nephew and sister.
The only thing in Paul’s mind is Danielle. He often eyes her at work and does his best to be close to her. When a new guy gets all of her attention, Paul starts making questionable decisions in the hopes of winning her back.
At this point of Rubberneck, the story gets out of control. Paul is relatable at first but turns into an anti-hero in order to win back the girl of his dreams. His actions make it difficult for viewers to relate with him.
While it is clear that Danielle is the only girl Paul has even been with but it is only for just a weekend. He turns into a stalker and in turn estranges himself from the audience. His actions are haunting him but he has separated himself from viewers that it is hard to sympathize with him.
There a point in Rubberneck when he threatens to run in the middle of a highway and get hit by a car. Most viewers hope that he would do it. Then the movie reaches the climax but Karpovsky and his co-writer Garth Donavan extended the movie in order to insert a cliché twist about childhood trauma that feels not connected to the flow of the movie.
Rubberneck is decent character study with a formulaic suspense thriller touch. The late try to redeem Paul is a bit too late as viewers have already withdrawn themselves from the character.