“Stuber” stars Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan. Released on July 12, 2019, the film is about an Uber driver who teams up with a detective to take down a ruthless terrorist.
The film is directed by Michael Dowse, who also directed films such as “FUBAR”, “Take Me Home Tonight”, “Goon”, and “The F Word”. We are now living in an age where anyone (excluding kids) can be taxi drivers. With services such as Uber and Lyft, people are able to pick up passengers and take them to their destinations, just like a regular taxi driver. The best part is that they can use any car they want and not just a regular cab. Unfortunately, like most services, Uber and Lyft have their own series of problems. This film showcases one of those possible problems. I was already on board with this latest action comedy the minute I saw its trailer for the first time. It’s got action, it’s got comedy, it’s got Bautista riding with an Uber driver and shooting up bad guys. Long story short, it’s what you expect from something that combines the action with the laughs, but does that mean it’s enjoyable?
The film follows Stu (Nanjiani), a mild-mannered Uber driver who struggles to maintain a five-star rating. When he picks up a grizzled LAPD detective named Vic (Bautista), he unwillingly gets caught in the middle of Vic’s mission to track down and arrest a drug lord (Uwais), and thus, hilarity ensures. I usually enjoy action comedies that feature two mismatched characters because of the believable chemistry between the two main actors, with the prime examples being the “Rush Hour” films. I’m happy to say that “Stuber” is another action comedy that I actually enjoyed. The film’s story was obviously simple and the scenes that involve some drama were a tad corny, but for the most part, it delivered exactly what it promised, and that is being a fun adult-rated ride that’s both violent and hilarious. Nanjiani and Bautista delivered some impressive chemistry together onscreen as Stu and Vic, respectively. Nanjiani once again shows that he can handle comedy just as well as he can handle drama. As for Bautista, he plays a tough character that has a major setback, and I thought he played the role pretty darn well. A bit different compared to his other roles, but still enjoyable for me to witness. The chemistry between the main actors has always been one of the most important parts of making an entertaining action comedy, and it’s nice to see that the film hasn’t lost sight of that. Michael Dowse has a way of keeping things moving in terms of the action and the comedy, and it shows. I appreciate Dowse for making the comedic moments fun and somewhat energetic without taking them too far for his audience, but the way he directed the action sequences still needs work. The action was just as entertaining as the comedy, but there were a couple of sequences that uses plenty of shaky camerawork, which can be quite bothersome for those who prefer action films that allow them to see what’s going on. If Dowse is going to work on another action comedy like this, this is something that he has to improve on, in my opinion.
Overall, “Stuber” is far from a five-star ride, but it does provide an amusing experience from start to finish, so I’m good with that. The chemistry between Nanjiani and Bautista and its solid use of humor are the key elements that managed to help the film reach its destination without any major problems. It can be a bit corny at times and the camerawork is a mess during a couple of action sequences, but it’s the type of film that understands what it wants to be and takes advantage of it. I had a good time watching this film and I hope the audience feel the same way as well.
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