Stuber Review – A Wild, Bad-Ass, Cat and Mouse Dramady

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Stuber, from 20th Century Fox Entertainment, presents a comedic drama that pairs the unlikeliest of heroes, an Uber driver and a blind LA detective, in the effort to bring to justice the drug kingpin responsible for his partner’s death.

Directed by Michael Dowse, Stuber stars, Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani, Natalie Morales, Mira Sorvino, Bett Gilpin, Karen Gillan, Iko Uwais, Lyon Beckwith, Bruno Rose, Scott Lawrence, Amber Chardae Robinson, Chris Goad, Mallory Teplinsky, Fernando Martinez, James William Ballard, Malachi Malik, Sherod Ogletree, and Apollo GT.

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Stuber begins with a wide angle drone view of Los Angeles, a maze of twisting highways, sunny days, palm trees, ocean, the heat thick in the air, and closer to everyday life we met Stu, played by Kumail Nanjiani, who drives an Uber as a second job, and Vic, played by Dave Bautista, an LAPD cop preparing to take down a notorious Asian gang leader.

Vic and his partner, Sara, played by Karen Gillan, are at a downtown LA hotel, preparing to surprise Asian drug kingpin Teijo, played by Iko Uwais. As the elevator opens to the penthouse, the two are met with a shotgun blast and the gunfight ensues. Between the two of them everyone is down except Teijo, who manages to escape.

LAPD detective Sara, corners him in a crowd of fans leaving the Staples Sports center. With one flying martial art move, Teijo has taken her gun and delivers the fatal wound shooting up under her vest.

One year later we meet Captain McHenry, played by Mira Sorvino, at an LAPD office party. Vic receives word the Teijo case has been moved to the FBI and no longer an LAPD concern. The two talk for a moment she suggests he take some time off, visit his daughter Nicole, played by Natalie Morales, go fishing. He tells her he is having Lasik eye surgery.

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LA is having a heatwave, temps climbing past 100 in the valley and Stu, a nice guy, hard worker, drives an Uber and holds a day job. After a montage of Uber rides, we see the headaches of making a living wage and depending on the fickle public to boost your professional profile.

The Lasik goes well, and Vic is recovering at home when he an informant calls with a tip that Teijo is receiving a big shipment tonight and he is expected to be at the drop. Unable to see, Vic takes his huge, indestructible, look I’m a cop car and blinded by Lasik and determination, he proceeds to drive erratically, unable to see the road, he mows down baby trees, and fails to heed warnings of road work, and drives into a hole.

Resorting to Uber he makes the call and our unlikely hero Stu, answers the call hoping for a five-star ride what he receives is a blind LA Detective bully who orders him to stay or risk worse than a low rating.

What follows is a wild ride as our two heroes manage to escape the militia each chain on the gang ladder sends to kill them as they close in on finally catching Teijo. In the search we travel through the underbelly of Los Angeles into gangland law and police corruption.

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Stuber is a star vehicle for Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani as both, as Hollywood is opening the door, for more than one representation in the human experience. As it has been the summer of Indian comics, Nanjiani brings his droll desperation, tinged with technique learned from the movies, to build his brand of an American dream, and learns when life brings a twisted road sometimes it is best to follow it through.

Bautista, one the other hand falls into the bodybuilder hero brand, which is what he is, muscle, muscle and more muscle, the big guy follows the path of Arnold Schwarzenegger, pitting him brawn against the bad guy, tenderizing him with children, which is what we see coming next for him.

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Stuber highlights the strength of both these talents and adds Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino and Natalie Morales who each add a genuineness to their roles. Filmed in LA, Stuber highlights the people, culture, the up and down side of life in the metropolis

Stuber is a wild, bad-ass, cat and mouse thriller, as a Zen-Tao life meets gangland war fare with plenty of semiautomatics, shoot outs, spliced with slapstick humor and droll, dry wit, in this super charged, fierce, over the top, adrenaline rush dramady.

Stuber is in theaters everywhere. Check local listings. See it.

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