Stuber is one of those contemporary action movies that you can take almost anyone to see. It’s not as graphic as something from Quentin Tarantino, or as James Gunn’s Brightburn. It’s not a deep twisting mystery that takes you focus to sort out the intrigue. It’s an easy watch with humor that at least doesn’t go as lowbrow as it could have, though it teeters right on the edge a few times.
Gaurdian’s of the Galaxy Dave Bautista stars as Detective Vic Manning, a damaged workaholic detective bent on vengeance against local drug lord Oka Tedjo (played by Iko Uwais) who gunned down his partner in a botched raid. His singular drive has alienated those around him, and even his colleagues in the police department are trying to get him to let the old case go.
If you feel like you’ve heard this storyline before, you have. You know the twists and reveals about 90 minutes before they happen, and since the film only runs for 93 minutes, it should tell you something. What saves the whole experience from being droll is the amount of charm between Bautista’s Vic and costar Kumail Nanjiani as Stu. Stu is a downtrodden Uber driver who is suffering from unrequited love for his business partner Angie (played by Glow’s Mira Sorvino), abused at his day job at a sporting goods store. All Stu wants is 5-star ratings from his riders so he can keep his Uber job, and for Angie to realize how much he loves her.
On the day that Vic has lasik surgery on his eyes, he gets a lead on Todjo’s location. Since he can’t drive he calls for an Uber and Stu answers the call. From there the nearly-blind Vic forces Stu to be his driver throughout the adventure-laden day.
Bautista and Nanjiani have a charm and ease together that makes the film worth watching at all. The jokes are mostly cute, there’s a few chuckles, and some genuine laughs. There’s some that miss the mark and fall flat, but overall it’s not really aiming for a level of dumb.
It almost feels like Stuber would have been more at home as a Netflix Original film rather than a theatrical release. It does lose points by completely getting wrong nearly everything about the post-lasik surgery experience.
Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5