Action comedies can often feel old fashioned. That’s not a criticism either, just a fact of the matter. They don’t necessarily represent a trip to a whole different era, but more simply a throwback to 1980’s type cinema. As such, it either needs to lean into a modern transgression of the tropes, or it needs to lean in to the throwback vibe. It’s hard to not choose one direction and succeed. Stuber, the new action comedy pairing Dave Bautista with Kumail Nanjiani, opts for the former, bringing ride share apps to the forefront. Though hardly groundbreaking, the comic stylings of Nanjiani help to set this one apart and make it worth a watch.
The film is, obviously, an action comedy pairing a cop with a civilian for a wild ride. A prologue sets up Vic (Bautista), a detective with vision problems. While investigating a drug dealer named Teijo (Iko Uwais) with his partner Sara Morris (Karen Gillan), tragedy strikes. Fast forward a bit and the case is being kicked to the Feds, while Vic is getting Lasik. His daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales) wants him to come to her art show that night, so she installs Uber on his phone. When Vic gets a tip that Teijo is resurfacing that same night, he calls for a car to shuttle him. This brings him into contact with Stu (Nanjiani), a part time driver who’s trying to keep his job, while navigating a friends with benefits relationship with Becca (Betty Gilpin). Vic essentially takes Stu hostage, having him drive him from spot to spot, trying to break the case. Action comedy moments ensue, while Stu learns to man up a bit. Michael Dowse directs a screenplay by Tripper Clancy, with cinematography by Bobby Shore and music from Joseph Trapanese. Supporting players include Steve Howey, Mira Sorvino, and more.
Comedy outranks action here, even though there’s plenty of the latter (and fantastic musical choices for the fight scenes, as Dowse picks some tremendous songs for those). Nanjiani plays flustered quite well, along with really selling the eccentricities of hardcore Uber drivers. Credit to the movie for actually kind of getting how ride share apps work. There’s plenty of unbelievable aspects to the film, which lay at the feet of Clancy’s script, but the Uber related stuff isn’t part of that. The more Dowse and Clancy lean into the breaks Nanjiani can’t catch, as opposed to the case Bautista is working on, the more solid ground the flick is on.
Stuber doesn’t fully serve Bautista or Nanjiani to their complete potential, but the latter does fare better than the former. Bautista looks the part and gets in some good one liners, but the blindness aspect of his character isn’t handled very well, while the action is choppily edited and doesn’t allow him to shine. Nanjiani, however, gets more than his fair share of laughs, helping to keep the movie rolling along. You could remove Bautista and still have this flick work, though you could not say that about Nanjiani. He saves the day, in that way. His reactions to some of the more extreme moments really are quite amusing.
This week, the latest mixture of comedy and action hits screens in Stuber, offering a relatively good time. Though perhaps not quite deserving of the strong notice it received earlier this year at SXSW, the film has enough laughs in it to not feel like a disappointment. Especially if you like Nanjiani’s sense of humor, there’s fun to be had. Keep your expectations in check and this likely won’t let you down. Come for the laughs and stay for the terrific soundtrack choices during the fights. That’s where the movie’s true strengths reside. Only a mild success, this still does count as a success, so make of that what you will…
Be sure to check out Stuber, in theaters everywhere this weekend!
Source link : https://www.hollywoodnews.com/2019/07/09/stuber-mixes-action-with-comedy-through-dave-bautista-and-kumail-nanjiani/
Author : Joey Magidson
Publish date : 2019-07-09 19:49:22