Stuber is a stubendously stubid movie.
The entire movie revolves around the single joke that Dave Bautista’s character is blind because of getting Lasix earlier in the day and so needs an Uber driver to drag him around to all of his action movieing. That’s it. That’s the entire movie.
Notice how that single joke isn’t funny even when just told once? Try having it be the entire basis for 90 minutes of so-called entertainment.
I can only imagine that the pitch for this waste of talent and time was that one cocaine-addled executive said to another, “bro, you know what’d be awesome? If we made, like, the cab driver from Deadpool have his own entire movie.”
Anyway, did you know that the title is funny because Kumail Nanjiani’s character’s name is Stu and he drives an Uber? Get it? STUBER!!! Ha ha ha ha ha. No, but seriously, despite people calling him “Stuber” throughout the movie, I didn’t get the joke until there was like ten minutes left. This is because I never caught that his name was Stu in the first place since blind Drax hilariously spends the entire movie calling him “Steve” instead.
The funniest thing about this alleged comedy is Bautista choosing the week of its release to declare that he has no desire to join the Fast and the Furious franchise because he’s too busy making good movies.
Ooh, and also the fact that his next film My Spy, which is also supposed to be an action comedy despite having no evidence of humor in its trailers, got yanked from its planned summer release. So funny. But not quite as funny as the fact that they still ran a trailer for it in front of Stuber because it really didn’t matter since no one was going to see it anyway.
I don’t think those were the jokes the screenwriter meant to be laughing at. But then, I remain unconvinced the movie had a screenwriter at all. Its sins are as numerous as they are mundane, trapped in the quicksand of mediocrity so thoroughly that it can’t even manage to fall flat on its face.
For instance, they introduce Karen Gillan just to fridge her in the first ten minutes. Which defeats the purpose of casting Karen fucking Gillan in your movie.
It fails as an action movie in any meaningful way. The action is shot in nonsensical shaky cam that would tend to make you nauseous if you weren’t so bored that you were looking anywhere but the screen. Which reminds me, if you are going to see this movie because you hate your own time and money, do like I did and see it by yourself in a totally empty theater so that you can dick around on your phone and not feel guilty for annoying anyone else. Helps with the shaky cam nausea.
It also fails as a comedy, by apparently never having heard of timing, jokes, wittiness, slapstick, or any other element that can be spun into actual laughter. It’s rated R, but you shouldn’t confuse that with being an R-comedy. It’s strictly a PG-13 movie that engineers an R rating through inexplicably having a bunch of John Wick style head shots with bad guys’ heads popping artificial red dye all over miscellaneous backgrounds.
It also feels a need to have an entire subplot in which Stu the Seeing Eye Uber is in love with his friend despite having never told her and sinking deeply into debt working two jobs to finance her opening her very own women’s only gym. Because what really revs up nonexistent humor, shit writing, and shaky cam action is the patented pseudo-incel friendzone plot.
It’s really a shame the movie is such a disaster since Bautista and Nanjiani really have legitimately good chemistry, and when they’re riffing off of each other you can just about almost see where it could have been entertaining. If it had a different director. And cinematographer. And producer. And writer. Probably the catering staff shares some blame. And definitely the key grip. Fuck that guy.
Please don’t bother watching this movie. Unless you’re TK. He deserves it.
Dr. Steven Lloyd Wilson is a hopeless romantic and the last scion of Norse warriors and the forbidden elder gods. His novel, ramblings, and assorted fictions coalesce at www.burningviolin.com. You can email him here.
Header Image Source: 20th Century Fox