Stuber – Film Review
by Fran Winston
Directed by: Michael Dowse
Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan
In cinemas July 12th
You know how it is – you’re trying to earn a few extra quid driving an Uber evenings and weekends so you can start a spin studio with your unrequited love. You pick up a fare who turns out to be a grizzled (and temporarily visually impaired) detective and suddenly you find you’re his partner in crime (or justice – you know what I mean!)
This is the premise of this odd couple buddy movie where (unsurprisingly) former wrestler Bautista plays the grizzled detective (Vic) and Nanjiani plays his unwitting sidekick Stu (St-Uber – geddit!) And just to make it even more complex Vic has a lead on his partner’s killers and is determined to catch them leading Stu into all sorts of dangerous situations that are completely outside of his comfort zone.
The odd couple buddy premise has pretty much been done since the dawn of movies and it is difficult to add anything new to it so here they don’t even try. Everything is pretty much done by rote. Bautisita and Nanjianai have a very awkward chemistry which doesn’t help. Neither are great actors so outside of their known personas their performances lack any of the little nuances that make or break these kinds of films.
There are also numerous problems with the script. Although Vic is supposed to be temporarily blind it is as if the script writer kept forgetting other than throwing it into the mix every now and again for comedic effect. But the effect is not that funny. For example he tells one other character who throws a set of keys at him “you know I’m blind” and yet he has never mentioned it to them so the joke lands as hard as the keys.
I won’t post spoilers but the twist is totally clichéd and predictable. Seasoned cinema goers will see this coming a mile away. In fact, there is a huge amount of telegraphing in this movie meaning there are no surprises whatsoever.
With villains that are caricatures, a predictable plot and a lack of rapport between the leads this is somewhat tedious. There are a couple of fun moments like Vic and Stu’s fight in a sporting goods store but overall this is more like a made for TV offering that somehow found its way onto the big screen. It falls completely flat and lacks the charm to draw an audience in despite its flaws. Not bad enough to be dreadful but not amusing enough to be good, this is simply meh!