A cool blend of contemporary & retro culture

‘Stuber’: Fun ride, stupid movie

Stuber: Little Driver With A Huge Cop: the title alone sounds daft, if not dirty, but in the same fashion as Dumber and Dumber, this action/comedy is at times funny but mostly painful and uninspiring. It tries to deliver what you might expect: silly laughs via something trending – in this case, the Uber riding service, but it also tries to be a cop thriller where upon the extended violence impacts negatively on the art of the cross-genre and its audience.

Laughs ensue, but the bloody violent deaths, profanity and clichés all lead to a routine plot-line and two-dimensional characters.

Usually a comedy with a team-up of two utterly different characters in conflict is lighthearted and easy to laugh at, but while there are giggles, these are superseded by cringe-worthy gasps as the relentless violence that goes too far to sit comfortably in the hybrid genre that the film is.

Stuber is about a new Uber driver called Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) who picks up police officer Vic (Dave Bautista), an aggressive downtrodden LAPD officer who kidnaps and forces Stu to be his host driver on the most important mission of his career. All this, while the officer is ironically recovering from eye surgery. As you can imagine, all mayhem cuts loose and Stu unwillingly becomes Vic’s accomplice in seeking social justice against an aggressive drug-fuelled organised crime syndicate. Stu, being thrust beyond the service of Uber, endures the dangerous adventure in the name of acquiring a five-star rating, and reluctantly becomes the anti-hero.

Laughs ensue, but the bloody violent deaths, profanity and clichés all lead to a routine plot-line and two-dimensional characters. In short, nothing new. Sadly as the movie went on, I became more detached to the odd couple and their gruesome cop journey, relentless in violence, which was exhausting.

Stu is entertaining and actor Kumail creates a likable service guy who ‘drives’ most of the humour but the lines are all too often screamed by both characters and the lack of nuance and realism makes it all difficult to bare.

It’s easy to dismiss this film, but I did laugh very hard at the idiotic jokes. If only there was more pathos amid the hilarity. And if only they’d stuck to the one genre; cop spoof. Now that would have been an achievement.

Annette McCubbin

 

‘Stuber: Little Driver With A Huge Cop’ is in cinemas now.

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