Stuber Review: Forgettable, unfunny, and dull ride that’s the opposite of summer fun
Though Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani have shown that they can be hilarious leads, their joint effort, Stuber, lacks much humor or substance to be anything more than an unmemorable experience.
The film follows Stu (Nanjiani), a mild-mannered Uber driver who struggles to make moves on his longtime crush Angie (Mira Sorvino) and find success in his work. His dull life changes, though, when Vic (Bautista), a rough and tough cop who is looking to avenge his dead partner by capturing her killer, enters his car. Though, they don’t see eye to eye at first, the two become closer and help one another as they delve deeper into the L.A. criminal underground.
Stuber has all the components to be a great summer comedy, but it doesn’t ever fully utilize them to create a consistently funny film. Both Nanjiani and Bautista have some funny moments together and there’re some great sequences, but most of the jokes get old fast and don’t ever evolve past their basic form. For instance, because Vic has problems seeing, he’s constantly bumping into things and mistakes objects for different things. It was funny the first time to see Bautista mistake paintings for his daughter’s (Natalie Morales) sculptures and run into just about everything, but these jokes get old really quickly. Even the whole idea of Stu being unable to tell Angie how he feels loses its luster and has no real substance to it for viewers to care about it.
Frankly, what I find to be so strange about Stuber is that it actually focuses on its main characters way too much and none of the side characters get enough screen time. Vic’s relationship with his daughter seems important at first but is barely touched upon in the film. There’s a cliché betrayal moment with a character that is barely in the movie and doesn’t leave any impression, so when we find out that they’re lying, there’s no emotional weight to it. Even the film’s main antagonist is just a generic drug dealer and though his connection to Vic is clear, it’s just on a base level. The film also struggles to finish plot threads in a satisfying way. The whole relationship debacle between Stu and Angie just abruptly ends on a lackluster note, the betrayal thread just kind of ends, and even the moment when Vic and Stu go head-to-head is just pointless.
Honestly, even the plot is pointless, and it’s been done in much better movies. Stu’s desire for a five-star rating doesn’t have the legs to keep viewers interested and the vengeance story with Vic is just a cliché detective story that viewers have seen too many times. Stuber truly lacks any sort of originality outside of the decent performances from its two leads. There’s no sense of original style, the action sequences are dull and unmemorable, and, worst of all, it’s such a stale experience that there’s not really much to talk about it. It has no special moments, outside of maybe one or two comedic sequences, and for two actors that are rising comedic stars, this is thankfully an instance for them that no one will remember.
Stuber lacks all of the summer fun that moviegoers are looking for right now and those that actually go to see it in theaters won’t find much to come away with. The film is a vastly forgettable ride that so dull that it probably resembles the kind of Uber ride where it’s so boring and uneventful that you wouldn’t even remember to rate the ride. If you see Stuber showing up on your suggested streams or are just on the fence on the film, it’s a definite skip.