From the mind that brought us a runaway maniac tire and a cult of do-good dognappers come the titular antiheroes of Wrong Cops, the conduit to Quentin Dupieux’s latest absurdist assault on the senses. This is a filmmaker whose fans arrive with a very particular picture in mind, and whose newcomer viewers emerge either whooping with delight or wide-eyed with fright. His is a unique cinema indeed, unforgiving in its unconventionality; the philosophy of “no reason”, outlined in an opening spiel by one of the many meta-referential characters of Dupieux’s 2010 breakthrough Rubber, remains very much the dominant force within the world Dupieux presents. There is no reason to his madness, only a mad method of conviction so steely it can only be admired.
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Confused and metaphorically incapable of having a real grip on his own life, lost between a handful of absurd and supposedly ironic but unresolvable situations, Dolph (Jack Plotnick) finds himself without a job—something that he has no problem ignoring, by continuing to go to work, despite the misery his old co-workers face—and without his best friend: a dog.
There’s an immediate aptness to its title as Wrong begins, fading in on a cracked road surface and panning up to a group of firefighters who, sitting silently on the side of their truck, look on as a van burns by the roadside. It’s just not right, like so much of the film to follow, which was written and directed by the French surrealist Quentin Dupieux, known to most for Rubber. That film, a gleefully silly genre commentary, was “an homage to the no reason”, a philosophy Dupieux here revisits through a more traditional narrative structure. He follows Dolph, an American everyman who wakes one morning to find his beloved dog missing, and whose quest to recover his canine best friend leads to a series of strange encounters with increasingly peculiar characters.