It’s a classic formula… Take one manic character, hook them up with a mild character, mix in some action and a few gags and “BAM!” – one buddy cop flick. Stuber follows the popular recipe, but does it cook up a winner?
Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) loves two things in life, his friend zone bestie and his Nissan Leaf electric car. Which, as we learn repeatedly, is a lease. As well as working in a sporting goods store, Stu drives his latter pride and joy for Uber, in order to scrape together enough money to help pay his share of the business that he’s gone into with that former pride and joy. He lives for five star ratings, but as people are generally jerks, he’s set to lose his gig due to too many bad reviews.
Enter Vic (Dave Bautista), a mammoth police detective who’s desperate to avenge the murder of his partner. He has a juicy lead on the culprit, but he’s also just come out of laser eye surgery and is totally in the Mr Magoo zone.
Can you guess what happens next…?
Stuber takes all the usual tropes of the buddy cop genre and bangs them together, and while some of it works, just as much of it doesn’t. There’s a good reason to keep your bum on the seat throughout, however, and that’s the sparkling comedic chemistry between stars Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista.
Nanjiani’s line in ultra-meek is the perfect foil for the bold boisterousness of Bautista, and they genuinely play well with each other as the big guy squints his way through proceedings. Mira Sorvino channels Babs Streisand for her underused role, while Betty Gilpin is wonderfully horrid as Becca, the self-centred and completely oblivious object of Stu’s affections.
There’s a grittiness to most of the action scenes that’s almost jarring against the comedic backdrop, but then when you have The Raid star Iko Uwais playing your big bad, you do want to pay him at least a little respect.
Stuber is no classic, but if you’re in the mood for a brain off, feet up dumb action comedy that delivers a few LOLs then it’s a ride that’s worth booking – but it’s no five star one.
In cinemas: July 11, 2019
Starring: Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Iko Uwais
Directed by: Michael Dowse