Movie Review: Stuber

Action buddy comedies come and go with generic fashion. Director Michael Dowse, along with Tripper clancy to put this Uber themed flick on paper, follow the tropes that have been beaten to death while coming with something that has enough freshness to shoot up the competition. Solid fight scenes, consistent laughter, and a great duo makes Stuber a fun ride that was worth the money spent at a theater.

Two years spent investigating, six months after his partner’s death, Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) finally makes a break in the case. Due to eye surgery, the brutish man must take an Uber driver into this search. Stu (Kumail Nanjiani), a wholesome, shy man driving people around in between shifts at a sporting goods store. The two incompatible personalities embark on an adventure full of fighting between one another, and a few criminals along the way that mixes humor, brutal violence, and shockingly poignant moments.

The creamy center of everything comes from the chemistry between Bautista and Nanjiani. The conflicting characters have fun banter and gripping dramatic moments. Stu’s motivation for the woman he has feelings towards, Becca (Betty Gilpin), always interferes with Vic’s bloodthirsty objective. The arc of their relationship feels natural, making it work so well.

Care has made these characters loveable. Vic and Stu have proper development and progression throughout the narrative. If only this were done for side characters like the baddies that pop up or Vic’s daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales) who mostly gets thrown in to flesh out Vic.

Action regularly explodes onto the screen. The violence strikes the right amount of gore without taking over other delightful elements. The choreography is surprisingly entertaining by its creativity and tension. I felt the danger while having a blast watching the two heroes battle against basic thugs.

My laughter went up and down but stayed throughout. The jokes had a variety of flavors from funny beats during combat to the crude dialogue. Not many misses, but a mix of hard hitters and light touches got a range of reactions from a small smile to laughing out loud nonstop.

Often times summer movies come up with an exciting premise then fall flat in another cash grab. The necessary groundwork about an Uber driving taking a police officer to destinations to fulfill his mission actually worked. Often times, the initial idea gets put into the background and forgotten, but the ride-sharing app lent itself well into the narrative and comedy.

The other major story related concept that drove everything was Vic’s temporary blurry vision. This was beaten into almost every scene without feeling overly redundant. A creative obstacle that grew tension and gave reason to Vic’s need of a driver.

Stuber runs into issues since a lot of uncreative ideas get tossed onto the screen like its road and “big” plot twist. Still, it is competent at executing its goal and criminals. Stu does not get that five-star rating he wants from me, but he does get a solid recommendation for anyone looking for some fun while eating some of his Canadian chocolate.

Score: 7/10

Image via 20th Century Fox

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