Dave Bautista … Vic Manning
Kumail Nanjiani … Stu
Mira Sorvino … Angie McHenry
Natalie Morales … Nicole
Iko Uwais … Oka Tedjo
Betty Gilpin … Becca
Karen Gillan … Sara Morris
Jimmy Tatro … Richie Sandusky
Steve Howey … Felix
Stuber is one of those difficult movies to review. It is not good; it is not bad. It just … is.
Dave Bautista plays Vic, an LAPD detective whose partner was killed when he lost his glasses and couldn’t take aim at Teijo, the drug dealer who eventually killed her. Because of that, he has been obsessed with tracking down Teijo, even after his boss (Mira Sorvino) tells him the case has been turned over to the FBI.
Vic schedules himself for Lasik surgery on the day of his daughter’s first public art show. Since she will be busy and he won’t be able to see, she sets him up with Uber so he can get to her show. But that afternoon, he gets a tip that Teijo’s drug deal is going down. So he orders an Uber.
Kumail Nanjiani plays Stu, a sweet, passive man who works at a sporting goods store, and has a side gig driving Uber in order to go in on a spin studio with his college friend/object of his affection. Stu is the Uber driver who gets paired with Vic, and things, unsurprisingly, go off the rails.
Stuber follows in the footsteps of R-rated comedies that came before it. It is painfully predictable, and while it is laugh-out-loud funny, not every joke is a winner. It hits about 50% of the time. More than just jokes, there is a lot of physical, slapstick comedy, which is more enjoyable than much of the dialogue.
The chemistry between Nanjiani and Bautista is spot-on. I would gladly watch them together anytime. Unfortunately, we get almost as much time with a pair of uninteresting, unsurprising subplots: Stu’s relationship with his best friend, whom he is in love with; and Vic’s strained relationship with his adult daughter.
More than anything, Stuber is forgettable. I remember being engaged during the film, but the moment I left the theater, I couldn’t remember a single joke from the film. The only scene that stuck out to me after was a massive fight in the sporting goods store – again, I remembered it because of the slapstick comedy. There is no message, no deeper meaning, nothing to think on. Unfortunately there aren’t quite enough laughs to make it a mindless romp, either. This might be a movie best left to watching on an airplane.