So everyone has their Uber cab horror story and our personal bug bear is the small talk which usually involves the driver asking, ‘So , you live local then?’ to which we reply , ‘Well, yes you’ve just picked me up from my house’, Stuber is about Stu (Kumail Nanjiani)who drives an Uber cab part time to help finance a joint business he’s agreed to with a woman he is secretly in love with but can’t bring himself to tell her. At the same time he works in a sports store bullied by his boss. Nicknamed Stuber he ‘s in danger of losing that job too if his star rating falls below 4 stars.
At the same time Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) is a cop who has spent years hunting down a drug runner Oka (Iko Uwais hideously underused) and the film opens with a great action sequences which sets the tone for the rest of the film because it’s pretty brutal with one baddie getting the top of his head shot off. It’s an indicator of what’s to come because though this is an action comedy the action when it comes it excruciating (fish hooks in the face is just one such moment). But Manning’s troubles stem from his faltering eyesight and much of the early laughs comes from Bautista doing his Mr Magoo act unable to see anything in front of him and after a calamitous attempt to drive to a crime scene in his car he ends up having to take Stuber’s Uber as he pursues Oka.
This is one of those mismatched buddy films and is much in the line of a Lethal Weapon / Midnight Run mash up with little surprise in terms of story – and when the real villain is revealed it’s like something out of Scooby Doo and there’s a painful bit of exposition when this is done that’s worthy of Austin Powers Basil Exposition character. Equally Vic’s squinting throughout the first half of the film and his inability to see anything does become a little selective to suit the script when it pleases.
But the strength of the film is the two leads who exchange a load of very funny quips and there are some decent action scenes put together by director Michael Dowse and it’s far better than you might expect it to be even if the comedy / action balance is a little uneven and brutal at times.
Here’s the Stuber trailer…….