Stuber: Review by @Kush_Hayes
What in short is a 93 minute advertisement for the rideshare company Uber, turns out to be a decent fast paced action comedy starring two up and comers that everyone is looking forward to see evolve further.
I wish I had a better intro than that for the Twentieth Century Fox movie I saw with a full house last night.
Its very simple, very paint by numbers. An unlikely duo, some might call an Odd Couple, are paired together as a chain of events unfold putting them both in danger, and maybe even learning a little bit from each other as they go forward.
Dave Bautista, former champion pro wrestler, plays a detective named Vic who has been working a “big case”. Its so big, its taken two years, plus the life of his partner as hes worked the case. Another problem is that Vic is getting older, much like the actor himself who just crossed 50 at the top of the year. And with age, comes bad eyesight. As stubborn as Vic is, he finally settles in and decides to get lasik surgery - which happens to be the same day as his daughters art exhibition. It also happens to be the day he gets a tip that the gangster hes been pursuing for years has just randomly appeared. Bad eyesight and temporary side effects be damned, Detective Bautista is going to get his man!
Kumail Nanjian, comedian, who you may have just seen as a tiny CGI character in Men in Black: International a few weeks ago, plays a real life person named Stu. Stu is trying to make ends meet like most folks these days and when he isnt being disrespected by his boss at his day job, hes being disrespected by the same man while being his Uber driver after work. While trying to get one last fare in before seeing the woman he is in love with who has friend-zoned him, Detective Bautista, fresh from Lasik Surgery, books Stu on the app and our adventure begins.
Kumails timing is firing on all cylindars. Hes got great comebacks for everytime Bautista puts him down or even tries to emasculate him point blank. You really hate how pathetic his character is in the beginning but you admire how he stands up for himself more and more as the film goes on. However most of his performance is screaming in fear and panic because Bautista probably kills a bunch of people. I dont blame the reaction, Im just saying its a lot of the movie.
Dave Bautista, no stranger to action and great stunts. And while we never reviewed it before, his performance in this years Master Z: Ip Man Legacy is simply fantastic. Thanks to good directing and writing from James Gunn, we’ve been able to see Bautista deliver really dry comedy in really funny ways, but in Stuber we get to see him extend his comedy to the physical. As his character just has Lasik Surgery, hes nearly blind most of the movie, so you’ll see him walk into a car, fall over a stack of bikes, misidentify people in a room as well as people not in a room.
Director Michael Dowse, whose name I can not help but continue to mispronounce, even in my head, makes an efficient comedy with heart and action that consistently entertains throughout the runtime, much like his earlier Hockey comedy Goon from 2011 that Im sorry to say, I ONLY saw a few years ago. Stuber much like Goon, never drags, showcases interesting characters and then like an olympic gymnast hits the post with a satisfactory ending.
I dont know if this movie could have been better, but I can tell you that it is a crowd pleaser to the point where people in my screening were emoting to the screen when a revelation appears or a character evolves for the better.
I think the nicest thing I can say is I look forward to seeing this team of Nanjiani and Bautista together again, if not in a sequel then another buddy project.
Three out of Six Blueberries.
Photos courtesy of Twentieth Century Fox