Stuber stars Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista and it follows these two individuals as one of them tries to bring down a high profile drug dealer while the other is trying to get that coveted 5 star Uber rating. Guess which one is which eh? Bad joke I know but to be fair that’s what’s happening in Stuber. A lot of bad jokes.
Though both Nanjiani and Bautista have great timing and have an excellent rapport most of the jokes just don’t land. Most of the best ones have sadly been shown in the trailers for Stuber which is a shame because they were pretty great.
I will say this, going into Stuber I was ready to be not impressed. The trailers had me chuckling but that was it and the story seemed throwaway at best. When the film opened though I was treated to some impressive action, stunts and a compelling motivation for one of the lead protagonists, Detective Vic Mannings (Bautista).
We are then introduced to Stu (Nanjiani) who is a part-time Uber driver hoping to make enough money to help out his best friend, and crush) Becca (Betty Gilpin). As he pines for his bestie, he is alerted to his next customer. It happens to be Vic. Vic has had LASIK Eye Surgery and can barely see but he has a hot tip that this drug dealer Oka Teijo (Iko Uwais) is coming into town so he uses the Uber app with the help of his daughter to make his way there. It’s here that our two heroes have their meet-cute and from there the game is afoot.
It’s Stu not Stuber
Stuber is effectively a buddy cop film except only one of the cops isn’t a cop. It’s in the same vein as Ride Along, Central Intelligence, and Let’s Be Cops. It has varying degrees of success with its comedy much like the films I mentioned above so on the right night this could be the right film for you.
What worked for me was the relationship between Vic and Stu. They both come from very different upbringings and its clear that their childhoods and parents shaped the men they would become and its fun watching them butt heads over what a man should be. This culminates in a great scene in a department scene between the two of them.
There is an interesting narrative choice made with Vic in that he is effectively blind for the entirety of the film. This means that the action is hampered as he cannot effectively act against his opponents. This brings Stu further into the action and he cannot handle it. It makes for interesting action set pieces especially when Teijo enters the scene.
There’s also a surprisingly compelling narrative that opens the film of which I spoke of earlier that I can’t get out of my head. It was well done, well conveyed but sadly it is only addressed in passing. It’s a shame because if the film had gone a certain route and expanded on the opening of the film there would have been a greater emotional connection which I find always works and can elevate films.
All and all I enjoyed Stuber but it’s just not original enough or funny enough to be anything especially interesting. If there’s nothing on in your local cinema and you’re looking for something safe Stuber might be the film for you.
Hope you enjoyed the review and stay tuned to Scannain for more.