Stuber doesn’t have franchise potential, but Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista have enough chemistry to make it a good one-time collaboration.
|Screenplay By||Tripper Clancy|
|Good If You Like||
|Isn’t For You If You||
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Stuber Plot Summary
Since college, Stu has loved Becca and would do anything for her. Heck, he even recently signed a leased for a new spinning company named Spinster. Yeah, they address that name choice. But, one of the problems of Becca and Stu’s relationship is that Becca doesn’t necessarily see Stu as he sees her. Yet, despite being in the friend zone, and being a bit whiny about it, he still works two jobs and takes multiple shifts to help Becca out.
One of his jobs is driving for Uber. Which is how he meets Vic. A cop who, for two years, has been tracking down a heroin smuggler named Tedjo. Someone who, on top of Vic doing his job, Vic wants to book him for something personal. However, one of the reasons Vic has struggled to take Tedjo down is his needs for glasses which got in the way of their last encounter. So he gets Lasik surgery and it just so happens to be the day he gets a tip on Tedjo.
Thus leading to Stu and Vic coming together and Vic coercing Stu, for nearly a whole day, driving him around and getting involved in his case.
As seen in the MCU and Hotel Artemis, Dave Bautista is equally capable of being an action hero and playing a comedic role. Which he does quite well in the film. For whether he is playing off of Nanjiani, as he screams or berates Bautista’s character for the situations he puts him in, or we see Vic whooping ass, he is a consistently entertaining presence on screen.
Like most action/ comedies, Stuber isn’t going to win any prestigious award for its storyline. However, taking Stu’s part out of the movie, we get what is really a compelling revenge plot. One which deals with the trauma cops go through, the sacrifices they make to be good at their jobs, and the issues which come with being the law and the temptation that leads to. Especially in terms of not enforcing it but bending it to fit your needs.
Add in Vic is getting old, his daughter Nicole and him have a strained relationship, and you could see the film could have went a different direction if it wanted to and still be quite engaging.
Vic v. Stu
Throughout the film, Vic picks on Stu due to how his relationship with Becca is and because Vic was raised in a hypermasculine household. Plus, Stu whines and complains every few minutes, and likes talking about his feelings. However, towards the end of the film, Stu snaps, and this leads to probably one of the best fight scenes in the entire film. One which you may think surpasses Vic v. Tedjo, despite that being what the film is building to.
Why? Because it happens in a home goods store and Stu is throwing and hitting Vic with everything he has. Plus, with Vic’s vision still blurry, sometimes their fight is reminiscent of a bull and a matador. Thus allowing Stu to seem far tougher than he did the whole movie and support his idea sometimes brains can overcome brawn.
On The Fence
Stu walks that tight rope between being funny and annoying. Something that between Clancy and Nanjiani, isn’t a smooth journey from the beginning to the end of the movie. For while Stu’s banter with Vic and him freaking out is often funny, Becca taints the character. Well, more so, Stu being that nice guy who expects Becca to be in deep, romantic, love for him due to him being a good friend ruins the character. Particularly since the movie tries to paint Becca as a bad person in the scenario. That is, despite Stu being the type who never confessed his feelings, so it isn’t like she knew how he felt.
Stuber Overall: Positive (Worth Seeing)
Dave Bautista is what makes this movie worth seeing. He, alongside Dwayne Johnson and John Cena, prove that WWE, similar to SNL, could very well be a real training ground for mainstream stars and not a pipeline for those who, at best, can become the next Steven Seagal – as he is seen now. And while Nanjiani struggles in the film, when he is good he is good. The only issue is, when he is bad he also becomes a bit of a liability. Thankfully though, it is never so bad that it doesn’t make Stuber something to see. Maybe not at full price, but maybe at matinee prices or when it comes to the home market.