STUBER – Review by Lana Wilson-Combs

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The outlandish dramedy Stuber is an over-the-top, violent, actioner that features a hilarious star turn from Kumail Nanjiani (TV’s Silicon Valley) and Dave Bautista (Drax The Destroyer, Avengers: Endgame/Guardians of the Galaxy).

Nanjiani plays a mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu. When you put Stu and Uber together you get Stuber.

By day, Stu works as a sales associate at a sporting goods store run by his jerk boss Richie Sandusky (Jimmy Tatro, TV’s Modern Family). Stu hates him and the lame job. He drives an Uber to make ends meet, but it’s really to try and get next to the girl of his dreams, Becca (Betty Gilpin, TV’s GLOW).

Although they had a one-night stand, their relationship hasn’t taken off and it’s driving Stu crazy. He loves Becca, wants more than a friendship and is willing to take things to the next level. So much so, he even invested a chunk of his money in a new “Spinster” cycling-class business Becca is launching.

However, Becca is kind of in a relationship with a pro basketball player who has agreed to be a spokesperson for her new company. Despite his best intentions, Stu is pretty much an afterthought for Becca.

Can life possibly get any worse for poor Stu?

Oh yes, it can.

What should have been just another routine day of driving customers around in his nice, leased Nissan Leaf, turns becomes a real nightmare.

That’s because LAPD police detective Victor “Vic” Manning, (Bautista) got a lead on a heroin dealer named Tedjo (Iko Uwais, The Raid 2). He’s been after this guy for years. Tedjo killed Vic’s partner Sarah Morris (Karen Gillan, Avengers: Endgame) so it’s payback time.

Here’s the thing. Vic just had Lasik eye surgery and can barely see. The doctor told him he can’t really do anything for a few days until his vision is fully restored.

Vic refuses to just sit around and let Tedjo get away again. Plus, he has a lot to prove to his boss Angie (Mira Sorvino, TV’s The Code). So, Vic hops in his car, all blurry eyed and runs over his neighbor’s yards and ultimately lands in a ditch. He finally realizes he can’t drive. He decides to call an Uber. It’s a good thing his art sculptor daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales, TV’s Abby’s) set up the app on his phone.

When Stu gets the call, he picks up Vic not knowing the wild ride he’s about to take. Really all Stu is worried about is getting that coveted 5-Star Uber rating.

Vic and Stu are such opposites. They bicker back and forth about pursuing Tedjo, you expect they’ll kill each other before they catch him. Yet, watching Vic’s brash, super masculine persona clash with Stu’s meek and calm demeanor as they get into one dangerous and crazy predicament after the other, is when the film really takes flight. Thankfully the trailers for Stuber don’t reveal all the movie’s funniest moments like Stu and Vic’s eye-opening visit to a male strip club or their bloody shoot-em-up at a veterinary clinic.

Stuber screenwriter Tripper Clancy borrows a page or two from 1980s buddy comedies such as 48 Hours, Lethal Weapon and Beverly Hills Cop, among others. While Stuber doesn’t compare to those classics, it’s a reminder of a seemingly bygone era and why we still love those movies so much. They were fun and funny. Stuber is silly beyond belief, but it’s loads of fun too.

3 Out Of 4 Stars

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Lana Wilson-Combs

Lana Wilson-Combs

Lana Wilson-Combs has more than 20 years experience as a journalist. She graduated from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor's of Arts Degree in Radio/Television, but began her career as a sports writer in the Bay Area at the Oakland Post newspaper before becoming a movie critic and entertainment writer. She is the founder of N2Entertainment.net and on-air movie critic for KFBK Radio Station in Sacramento, California where she currently resides.