If COLLATERAL (2004) had a dysfunctional, little brother… STUBER would be it!
Unlikely pairings are usually fun to watch. No matter what genre, whether it’s been Jackie Chan and Chris Tucker (RUSH HOUR series), Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe (THE NICE GUYS), John Travolta and Samuel L. Jackson (PULP FICTION), Ice Cube and Kevin Hart (RIDE ALONG), or even Sandra Bullock and Melissa McCarthy (THE HEAT), they all have one thing in common: fun to watch! STUBER manages to do the same with Dave Bautista and Kumil Nanjiani, in an action-comedy that presents a twist among the buddy-cop genre.
The film follows an Uber driver named Stu (Nanjiani) who picks up Vic (Bautista), a hulking yet grizzled detective hot on the trail of a sadistic drug lord, and finds himself lured into an ordeal where he has to keep his wits, himself safe, and work with his passenger while maintaining his high-class rating.
Look, to be honest, when I first got wind of this, I immediately thought to myself, “Whatever!” However, this turned out a lot better than I expected. It took a little to find its comedic and chemistry footing, but once it does… it’s a joyride. Very entertaining. Extremely silly and over-the-top at times, but that’s part of the fun.
Most of the movie’s humor stems from the vast differences between Vic and Stu, two guys who couldn’t be more different. Stu is a sensitive beta-male who relies on his empathy and wit. (A dude who pretty much cries for everything!) Vic is a muscle-bound alpha-male who thinks feelings are for women and children under three. (Once you’re four, it’s time to man up!)
Feeding off each other’s differences is what makes this movie worthwhile. In the process of doing so, it provides the best of both worlds: gunplay and wild chases for the action and gags, harsh one-liners, and a running joke for comedic effect. STUBER can go either way in terms of audience reaction. Some will love it. Some will hate it. Some will be so-so with it. It isn’t one of the best for 2019, but surely not the worst. The movie provides exactly what it promotes (and more)! It’s hip, intense, funny, loud, harsh and most of all… entertaining!
Grade: B / Genre: Comedy, Action / Rated: R / Run Time: 1:33
Starring: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Karen Gillan