By Gilberto Campa
Being a film critic for about three years now, I’ve seen and experienced many different kinds of movies. In one way or another, we all find something in a character or a movie that we relate to but in the case of Stuber, it was almost scary how much I related to it. As someone who also Uber’s on the side much of the humor from Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) is drawn from experiences with the popular rideshare app as you see the struggle Stu goes through with each rider. Obviously, I hope I never get pulled into an active investigation by an undercover policeman but hey, who knows? As we learn more about Stu and the important details of his life, things just only get worse as the story cranks up the humor when Stu picks up veteran LAPD Detective Victor Manning, who also has just had Lasik eye surgery.
As a lifelong fan of Professional Wrestling, it has been amazing seeing the growth that Dave Bautista has gone through from being a powerhouse who barely said a word, to becoming one of the most successful superstars in the history of the WWE, to now being one of the most versatile and dedicated actors working today. Stuber is the first time I have seen Bautista go full-on comedy in the vast variety of roles he has taken since becoming a full-time actor. The chemistry he has with Nanjiani (who brings his trademark humor) is what makes the movie work, despite the different amount of tones it transitions through that left me little confused as to what it wanted to be. The film has a very relatable premise that gets just a tad bit out of hand once the main story picks up (like most comedies often do). The story of Stuber isn’t groundbreaking or something that twist’s the genre on its head but that certainly doesn’t mean it’s bad or not worth a watch. It surprisingly has some very heavy and intense action throughout which was nice to see and it helped to establish just how crazy yet, entertaining the movie was going to be.
The first half of the movie does a good job of setting up payoff’s that come towards the end but it does drag a little bit towards the middle of the second act. Another part of Stuber that was handled well was the addition of Miami’s very own Natalie Morale’s who plays Vic’s daughter, Nicole. She isn’t in the movie for a large amount of time but anytime she is involved with a project I look forward to seeing what she brings (ever since Parks and Rec.). Surprisingly the movie does have a lot of heart and uses humor to mask certain problems that the characters are going through in their lives. The only major criticism I have about the movie as I mentioned before is the tone. Some of the best comedies that have ever been done know how to balance different tone’s into one, consistent film, and Stuber just couldn’t do it. Stu’s driving may have been worth 5 stars at the end of it, but the movie falls just a little short.
The Verdict – 2.5/5