Movie Reviews

Published on July 7th, 2019 | by Michael Newman

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Stuber

There’s no denying that ridesharing has become one of the fastest growing industries around the world. What used to be a chore of finding a cab company and calling them for a pickup (or flagging them down in the streets of New York) has now been simplified with a smartphone app. What used to be thirty minutes waiting for your ride to arrive has now been reduced to minutes thanks to technology. So, a movie featuring a lovable Uber driver who gets caught tangled up with a cop chasing a notorious fugitive shouldn’t sound like to much of a stretch.

Stuber introduces us to Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) a man who is madly in love with his plutonic friend and pushed around daily by his boss at the local big chain sporting goods store. In an effort to help subsidize his friend Becca’s (Betty Gilpin) spin studio he moonlights as an Uber driver. Fate intervenes one day when Detective Vic (Dave Bautista) who has literally just undergone corrective eye surgery receives a tip that the drug lord who had murdered his partner just months before has turned up again in the city. Unable to drive, and recently introduced to Uber by his daughter, Detective Vic is forced to hold hostage Stu as he tracks the killer through the city in an effort to bring him to justice.

Stuber features a star-studded cast that brings this amazingly heartfelt and incredibly funny film to the big screen. With a supporting cast such as Karen Gillan, Mira Sorvino and Natalie Morales to back them up, the audience is taken on a laugh filled, action-packed movie that certainly shows better than the advertisements would lead you to believe. The characters are instantly likable, and no matter how much cursing (of which there is a lot) and violence is portrayed on the screen that never changes. Kumail Nanjiani does an amazing job as the lovable Stu. His comedic timing regularly hits the mark, and his portrayal of a man longing to escape the friend zone never gets old. Bautista delivers what may be one of the most defining roles that he has played. While he regularly is able to stand out among his peers in his previous films, this is one of the first where he is asked to carry the film on his own shoulders…and carry it he does. The partnership and true friendship between the two is believable and continues to strengthen as the film moves on. I might even go as far as to say that the chemistry between these two incredible actors is magical.

That’s not to say that Stuber is a perfect movie, it’s predictable and doesn’t really bring anything new to the table. It does however handle the cop who can’t drive scenario far better than any movie that has come before it (like that horrendous movie Taxi that came out back in 2004). It’s a movie that could have gotten away with a PG-13 rating with a little less language, which ultimately may have helped it do better in the theaters (only time will tell of course). That being said, the language itself never feels as though it was thrown in for shock value, in fact I imagine that any of us who might wind up in this particular predicament might have a few choice words of our own to spout out throughout the entire adventure.

I got far more out of Stuber than I thought possible. For a movie that has had little fanfare and releases not long after the acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox, it’s incredibly fun and full of just as much heart. To say that I had not expected this to be a movie where the audience would clap when it was over would be a tremendous understatement. It’s good to see that movie studios haven’t given up on fun ideas, even ones that don’t seem to be exceptionally revolutionary or over-the-top. This is one of the most surprising movies of the summer, in a summer full of blockbusters and big budget films Stuber quietly succeeds where many others are likely to fail. Stuber is certainly a movie worth the price of admission, and you might even come out a little happier than when you went in.

4 out of 5 stars

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