Movie Review 'Stuber'

John Thomas

Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) wishes and hopes his future will bring him a five-star rating from his next Uber ride and more time spent in the company of his somewhat ambivalent, but true love.

Responding to a request for a driver, he gets quite the opposite of his two wishes. The request comes from Vic Manning (Dave Bautista), a semi-suspended and partially blind LAPD policeman.

Stu works at a big sporting goods store during the day and drives for Uber after working hours. His car is spotlessly clean, the glove box filled with Canadian chocolates, water bottles and other treats. He is punctual, responsible and friendly, greeting his passengers with a welcoming smile.

Vic is on temporary leave from active police work because of a disastrous incident caused by his losing his glasses and shooting the wrong person. Nicole (Natalie Morales), his daughter, has had enough of his blindness and drives him to his appointment to correct the vision situation via laser surgery.

After the procedure, he is warned by the physician to wear protective dark glasses until he is able to read the tiny bottom line on an eye chart. Before bringing him home, Nicole has the foresight to put the Uber app on his phone – just in case.

Stumbling around his messy house, Vic answers his phone to receive a message regarding the whereabouts of some criminals he has been trying to locate for a very long time. He’s ready to go get them! Hopping into his car, he slams it into gear and takes off knocking over trash cans, hitting curbs, sideswiping parked cars before finally ending in a giant hole at a construction site.

 He is partially blind, remember. Time to figure out the Uber app.

Saying a silent prayer for a five-star rating, Stu responds to the call from Vic. They are both in for the ride of a lifetime. Their first stop is at a male strip club. While Vic interrogates the club’s owner, the ever positive and helpful Stu applies cover-up to a tattoo on the back of a near-naked dancer.

The information Vic collects leads them to a location somewhere in Compton but not before Stu responds to a call from two other prospective riders – Vic had inadvertently signed up for Uber pool.

They chase and shoot and are chased and shot at all over Southern California by the thugs they are pursuing – even to Long Beach. In the middle of the car chases/crashes and gun fire, Vic remembers a promise he made earlier in the day. He told his daughter he would attend a gallery opening of her work. He can’t see anything anyway, but he and Stu finally arrive.

The exhibit is nice, Stu is particularly drawn to one “work-of-art.” No time to linger, however, there’s more action to attend to on the outside, so off they go.

At the end of traumatizing and exhausting day the total for the ride is in the five-thousand-dollar range. That comes as no surprise, considering all that has taken place since Stu first answered Vic’s summons, but will Stu have finally earned the five-star rating he so longs for, or is there something more important to him now?

Directed by Michael Dowse (credits: What If, Goon) Stuber is a “should see” film that runs 93 minutes.


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