REVIEW: ‘Stuber’ is a trip that won’t earn high ratings

Another summer buddy cop flick is upon us and unfortunately, “Stuber” doesn’t take a spot on the top shelf of the genre.

Nanjiani plays Stu in the picture, a guy working a dead-end job at a sporting good store who moonlights as an Uber driver. While he does his best to accommodate passengers, Stu seems to have trouble attaining the elusive five star rating. Meanwhile, police officer Vic (Bautista), recently had eye surgery and should be resting, but gets a tip on solving a case he’s been working on for years.

Because he can’t drive with with his recovering eye-sight, he orders an Uber and Stu just happens to be his ride. While the two have trouble getting along, Vic’s case ropes them both into a situation where they have to work together to survive and take down a crime kingpin.

“Stuber” is about as generic as you can get. This is buddy cop 101, and there’s not much here to really elevate things. The Uber driving concept itself isn’t bad, but the rest of the movie is just such weak sauce, with little in terms of memorable scenes.

Courtesy 20th Century Fox.

Not only does the movie lack any teeth in its comedy, though, it’s also severely repetitive. The movie basically consists of Vic doing something, Stu screaming about it, and then moving on.

The movie is also desperately lacking in chemistry between Nanjiani and Bautista. They have a lot of yelling back and forth and eventually the characters work together better, but their banter just never works as well as one hopes with this genre.

There’s also an issue in how Bautista approaches the role. In some scenes he’s just the silent type who’s tough as nails with a thousand yard stare. But at other times, whether it was writing, direction or just Bautista, his character acts more like a loud wild man. It’s as if the movie couldn’t quite settle on character traits, making the movie all the more inconsistent.

It’s also disappointing how the film seems to waste the comedic ability of Nanjiani. He’s a talented guy with comedic timing but the schtick they give him here wears thin really quick.

There was potential here, but the execution is a total mess with “Stuber.” It’s not insufferable and it’s not too long. But it isn’t all that funny or entertaining, either, which doesn’t help an action comedy. 2.0 out of 5.

Author: Matthew Liedke

Journalist and film critic in Minnesota. Graduate of Rainy River College and Minnesota State University in Moorhead. Outside of movies I also enjoy sports, craft beers and the occasional video game.

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