An Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) picks up a cop named Vic (Dave Bautista) because he had Lasik surgery and can’t drive, but needs a ride to a drug bust. What ensues is a night of car chases, shootouts, chaos and scary situations when Stu can’t afford any mishaps in his leased electric car or lose his five-star rating.
“Stuber” is a violent, gory, predictable buddy picture/comedy that struggles with its pacing.
Muscular testosterone-driven Detective Vic is recovering from Lasik surgery when he calls Uber driver Stu to help him follow a lead in a big drug case.
Milksop Uber driver Stu works tirelessly to give “five star service” to his customers while pining for a girl who sees him as little more than a business partner.
Together this unlikely pair becomes a dynamic dud. Writer Tripper Clancy attempts to create an odd couple who stumbles and bumbles their way to success and friendship.
It doesn’t work! Vic’s temporary blindness is used sparingly at the outset for a few minor gags to give way to simple distraction and annoyance as his blindness is only used to keep Stu in the story.
Stu’s dialogue is too obviously set up to throw funny lines at Vic as they careen through the city regardless of whether it moves the story forward or not. Nanjiani is a very funny actor, but Stu stuggles to be consistently funny, which reveals the weal writing of the film.
Classic buddy pictures such as “Twins,” “Beverly Hills Cop,” “Lethal Weapon” and “21 Jump Street” use comedy to perfection to fuel a story where audiences root for these unlikely duos. In “Stuber” the comedy is pedestrian at best and is placed within a predictable story framework offering a film that sputters along.
There are a few funny moments, but the comedy is so lackluster that these memorable moments are lost in a sea of disappointment.
This unfulfilling film would receive a “one star rating” from its passengers, forcing other films to be their Uber destinations this week.
A movie well- suited as silly summer fare, “Stuber” combines zippy dialogue with violent bloody action, and in an inspired move, pairs the unlikely duo of hulking Dave Bautista and hilarious Kumail Nanjiani to make it work.
Of course, you have seen mismatched pairs before in a long line of buddy movies. Classic odd couple Nanjiani and Bautista have an interesting chemistry together, juggling their roles’ physical demands with laugh-out-loud interaction.
The supporting actresses are strong too – Betty Gilpin is Stu’s crush, Natalie Morales is Vic’s neglected daughter, Karen Gillan is Vic’s partner and Mira Sorvino is his boss.
Scriptwriter Tripper Clancy cuts to the chase, and the film is a tidy 93 minutes. Director Michael Dowse, no stranger to lethal action combined with hilarity for he did the hockey movie “Goon,” keeps the pace brisk as they stop at strange places – a sriracha factory! -- during a wild night of danger. It’s by-the-book predictable but the two stars are so likable, they make it fun to watch. The drawbacks are the copious killings that get graphic and Stu’s ridiculous sporting goods store supervisor.
This is the kind of fare that won’t get any awards but delivers an amusing wild ride.