Stuber is ‘perfectly mediocre’

Sean I. Mills
Staff writer
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Posted 7/21/19

“Stuber” is the sort of movie that started with the pun title, took a long lunch break and then banged out the rest of the script in an afternoon. It’s not very good, but it’s not very bad …

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Stuber is ‘perfectly mediocre’

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“Stuber” is the sort of movie that started with the pun title, took a long lunch break and then banged out the rest of the script in an afternoon. It’s not very good, but it’s not very bad either.

What “Stuber” is most of all is perfectly mediocre. As an action comedy, it doesn’t do either of those things particularly well, but it’s still mildly enjoyable. It helps if you already like the two lead actors.

Dave Bautista plays Vic, a hardcore, tough guy cop who gets LASIK eye surgery on the exact same day that the big drug dealer he’s been hunting is going to pull off a big sale. So because he can’t see, Vic hires an Uber to drive him around Los Angeles. Enter the titular Stu the Uber driver, played by comedian Kumail Nanjiani, a fidgety wimp of a man who is quickly in over his head.

You may ask why Vic, a police officer, doesn’t simply call for a police car to get around. “Stuber” would prefer you don’t ask that sort of question and instead just sit back and watch the film.

The two actors play well off one another, but their roles are very predictable. Stu is going to teach Vic to get in touch with his feelings, and Vic is going to teach Stu get in touch with his courage. We’ve seen it done a million times in movies and on television, and “Stuber” doesn’t add anything new to the formula.

When tough guy Vic turns down a hug in the middle of the film, you automatically know he’s going to be open to that hug at the end. When one character goes to great lengths at the start of the film to describe the act of jumping in front of a bullet to save somebody, you automatically know that’s going to come up again in the climax.

“Stuber” is the sort of movie that reminds you that making a good film is probably harder than it looks.

It’s not particularly exciting as an action movie and it’s not particularly funny as a comedy.

“Stuber” is just mediocre, with a couple of solid lead performances. But both actors have done better films, and you’re better off watching those than “Stuber.”

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