The “dude” or “bro” comedy is an interesting sub-genre that contains a huge mix of films. You have college films like ‘Bad Neighbours’, sex comedies like ‘American Pie’, bachelor films like ‘The Hangover’ - but usually the one common thread is a friendship or bromance. In comparison, when you look at a list of female comedies, the common thread is stereotypically that its protagonists just can’t get along. ‘Stuber’ blends these two ideas thanks to a great dynamic between Kumail Nanjiani (‘The Big Sick’, 'Men in Black: International’) and Dave Bautista (‘Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2’, ‘Blade Runner 2049’).
Vic (Bautista) is a cop who, after loosing his partner in a shootout, is still trying to hunt down the man who did it. Stu (Nanjiani) is stuck in a rut working at a local camping/fishing/BBQ store with his mean boss (Jimmy Tatro, ’22 Jump Street’, ‘Smallfoot’) while moonlighting as an Uber driver to make some extra cash to open an all-female gym with his best friend Becca (Betty Gilpin, ‘True Story’, ‘Isn’t it Romantic’), who he is also in love with but she doesn’t know it. When Vic goes in for eye surgery, his daughter (Natalie Morales, ‘Battle of the Sexes’, ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’) suggests he takes an Uber to get to her art show (which of course he forgot about because he has been too focused on the case and not his family). When he gets a heads up on where the bad guy is going to be, he calls an Uber to take him to the drop site - but of course Stu gets mixed up in the crossfire and is ends up going along for the ride.
SWITCH: 'STUBER' TRAILER
The territory of the plot has been heavily trodden, even having unnecessary double-crosses for the sake of a twist (I see you Mira Sorvino, thanks for still being in movies, I guess). But what really makes this an enjoyable sit is that chemistry between Bautista and Nanjiani. Bautista is just so unapologetically charming that you can’t help but instantly love him, and Nanjiani is just a really funny guy whose over-the-top reactions to violence are great. Surprisingly, the action scenes are really well done with great stunt choreography, and thanks to a really fantastic soundtrack, they all have a really fun energy about them.
It doesn’t reach comedy heights, but thanks to its leads it’s a very fun sit.
There are of course some negatives. While the film is funny, there really isn’t anything that is extremely laugh-out-loud. A lot of comedies these days end up being closer to two hours because of unedited “line-o-rama”, but thankfully 'Stuber' doesn't do this and is very tight in terms of jokes, even if they don't all land. The plot is wildly unoriginal and is very much nothing new. And while the whole plot kind of revolves around Uber, every time they show the app it isn't the Uber one; it's like they didn't fully get the rights to use Uber, which seems like a weird choice not just for the narrative but what could have been a huge marketing tie-in too.
If you’re looking for fun little date night movie, a night out with friends or a fun way to kill 90 minutes, ‘Stuber’ is the perfect film. It doesn’t reach comedy heights, but thanks to its leads it’s a very fun sit.