Review: A buddy flick that runs out of funny too quickly

By Jake Coyle | Associated Press

If you’re going to see one comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani as an Uber driver, please make it the 2017 film he co-scripted, “The Big Sick.”

In “Stuber,” Nanjiani is again behind the wheel of a compact ride-sharing vehicle, but this time, the comedy is running on fumes and the company (Zoe Kazan in “The Big Sick,” Dave Bautista in “Stuber”) isn’t nearly as good.

Stu is nicknamed “Stuber” by his obnoxious boss at a sporting goods store in a nod to his side gig. He’s conscripted by Bautista’s Vic, a Los Angeles police detective temporarily blinded by LASIK surgery, to drive him around town. Vic can hardly see, but he’s hell-bent on pursuing the most lethally acrobatic drug dealer you’ve ever seen (Iko Uwais of “The Raid”) who months ago killed Vic’s partner.

Stu, desperate for a five-star rating, is reluctantly sucked into a “Beverly Hills Cop”-like buddy action comedy that quickly turns violent and a little shrill. Nanjiani and Bautista, the hulking former wrestler best known as Drax in the “Guardians of the Galaxy” films, make a suitably odd pair. Stu is sensitive and nerdy, and desperate for his best friend (Betty Gilpin) to take him seriously as a romantic partner. Vic is gruff and bumbling and often appears almost literally as a bull in a china shop.

Tripper Clancy’s script — a kind of comic version of Michael Mann’s “Collateral,” with Tom Cruise as a contract killer and Jamie Foxx as his cabbie — crafts a hardly novel running dialogue of masculinity. Occasionally, it hits just right, like when Nanjiani summarizes their dynamic: “You’re built for justice. I’m built for brunch.” But most of the time, it flails around in a stale routine. During a fight at the sporting goods store, Stu exclaims: “Real men cry!”

The movie’s …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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