‘Stuber’ is ridiculous… in a good way. In the newest buddy cop movie to come out for our viewing pleasure, director Michael Dowse teams Dave Bautista and Kumail Najiani together to create an unusual pairing that, in my opinion, works both visually and auditorially. Is that a word? Anway, anyone who doesn’t agree wasn’t watching the same movie that I was watching. Picture the first ‘Lethal Weapon’ but on the extremely silly side. That’s ‘Stuber.’ Had a bad week? This movie is just what the doctor prescribed. If you’ve liked Nanjiani’s work in films such as ‘Fist Fight’ or ‘The Big Sick,’ he turns it up tenfold with everything being asked of him in this farce. His wit is dry, and his character is strong against the subtle, deadpan style coming from his co-star whose character needs to be toned down just as much for the comedy to work. The actors understood this and delivered impeccably. Was the movie perfect? No. But sometimes chemistry is all you need to make something better than it really should be based on the script. ‘Stuber’ is a shining example of that.
The movie begins with Vic (Bautista) and his partner trying to capture a drug dealer whose main clients are children. It’s a lively start but typical and a bit dull. However, things kick into high gear when our bad guy, Tedjo (Uwais), not only gets away but kills Vic’s partner in the process. This only happens because Vic’s glasses get knocked off during a fight sequence and, ‘Oops!’ suddenly he can’t see! He was swinging but getting nowhere near the ball. Of course, he blames himself for his partner’s death and goes in for Lasik eye surgery, something that sounds more terrifying to me than having to dodge bullets. I think I’d take my chances with the bullets. Sorry. Deviated there for a moment.
After the surgery, he can’t drive. Enter Stu (Nanjiani) the Uber driver. When Stu picks him up, Vic gets word that a drug deal is going down and he has a chance to finally get Tedjo. Stu’s leased vehicle has suddenly become a police car. He only agrees to do this because there’s a gun in his face and because his rating with Uber, mostly due to his inability to take other people’s sh*t, has gone down. Vic promises he’ll give Stu five stars!
There’s a scene near the beginning of all this mess that’s brilliantly shot. It’ll have you rolling with laughter and set the tone. In a veterinary clinic, there’s actual gunplay to the beautiful song, ‘The Air That I Breathe’ by The Hollies. Classic. What I liked about the sequence is that not only are you locked in on the absurdity of it all, you also notice how beautiful it is that animals are blissfully unaware of the evil that surrounds them. They simply wait for you to reach out and pet them on the head which is something Stu hopes that Vic will do for him.
In my opinion, this is a watch at the theatre instead of waiting. It’s got the fighting and the male bonding for the ‘Guy’ guys; it has humor, male strippers, and dogs for the rest of the audience. Oh, did I not mention the part with the male strippers where Stu gets relationship advice? You’ll love it. Check it out this weekend! I thoroughly enjoyed watching these characters grow and you will, too. These movies have been done to death, but you can’t miss it when it works.
Director Michael Dowse
Writers Tripper Clancy
Stars Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Mira Sorvino and Iko Uwais
Running Time 1h 33m
Genres Action, Comedy, Crime