A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown's fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
A mild-mannered Uber driver named Stu picks up a grizzled detective who is hot on the trail of a sadistic, bloodthirsty terrorist and finds himself thrust into a harrowing ordeal where he has to keep his wits, himself unharmed, and work with his passenger while maintaining his high-class rating.
Comedy is one of the hardest genres to accomplish successfully. It has always been that way and it will always be that way. Most jokes, especially today, feel like retreads of older gags or too familiar to others. For this reason alone, it seems like less and less memorable mainstream comedies hit the big screens every year, which is really disappointing. Stuber is the next film in the long line of recent disappointing comedies and while it does have its moments, it's not worth spending your time or money at the movies on.
Following Vic Manning (Dave Bautista), a police officer who has been having trouble with his eyesight, he finds himself being picked up by Stu (Kumail Nanjiani), an Uber driver with no self-confidence, and together they end up working a violent case that Vic has been involved in for a while. Obviously, with a premise like this, chaos begins to ensue and the movie becomes more about the characters than the overall plot, and while that does work sometimes, Stuber is far too cliche of a comedy to really feel for them or get any big laughs in general.
Going into this movie, I was already a huge fan of Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista. Both for different reasons, but I was curious to see what they could bring to the table as an unlikely duo. They're easily the sole aspect that made this movie remotely enjoyable. There are a few instances that had me chuckling, but from set-ups that will clearly pay-off in the final act to over-the-top fight scenes to keep the audience engaged, a lot of this movie felt forced.
On top of the forced nature of these elements, the overall direction of the action sequences was terrible in my opinion. With the use of the visceral shaky-cam technique, the action honestly felt like it belonged in a different movie altogether. Directed by Michael Dowse, I'm a fan of his movies Take Me Home Tonight, Goon, and The F Word, but those movies aren't exactly known for having good action scenes. I would say that this particular piece of directing felt like a mixture of action and comedy that didn't quite blend very well overall.
In the end, Stuber begins as a fine concept (which is also great advertising for the Uber app) but ultimately plummets as it tries to be funny during moments that would have otherwise been taken seriously during a dramatic film. The two leading men are a blast to watch, even if they aren't given much to work with, and I believe they would've made an even better team with better material. Stuber had potential in theory, but the execution is everything and this one missed the mark for me, more often than not.
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