Director: Michael Dowse
Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais
Release Date: October 15, 2019
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 7.5/10
Get ready for the ride of your life in this high-speed buddy comedy fueled by huge laughs and nonstop action! When a mild-mannered driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani; “Silicon Valley”) picks up a passenger (Dave Bautista; Guardians of the Galaxy) who turns out to be a cop hot on the trail of a brutal killer, Stu is thrust into a harrowing ordeal in which he desperately tries to hold onto his wits, his life and his five-star rating.
‘Stuber’ accompanies your everyday working man Stu (Nanjiani) whose common routine of working by day as a retail employee and making some extra cash as an Uber driver after clocking out is thrown for one crazy turn when he picks up a big, buff and somewhat angry customer (Bautista) who turns out to be a cop on the hunt for a deadly killer, but with limited transportation options at his disposal due to a recent and badly timed eye procedure. Enlisting the hesitant Stu to help drive him from one dangerous location to the next as he hunts for the bad guys, it soon becomes a wild night that Stu isn’t sure he will survive, but at the same time curiously helps him to work through some personal matters he’s kept bottled up for far too long already.
Directed by Michael Dowse (Goon, What If) from a screenplay by Tripper Clancy (Hot Dog), Dowse does a solid job at the helm of ‘Stuber’ guiding along the fast paced fun with ease. The film also owes its share of credit to the generally well selected cast which includes Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick), Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy), Iko Uwais (The Raid: Redemption), Natalie Morales (TV’s Abby’s), Mira Sorvino (Mimic), Karen Gillan (Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle), Betty Gilpin (TV’s GLOW), Jimmy Tatro (22 Jump Street), Steve Howey (TV’s Shameless) and more, with most offering fitting and capable performances in each of their respective roles, and the great chemistry between Ninjiani and Bautista is nothing short of wonderful, the duo making for another perfect odd couple pairing.
‘Stuber’ is a frequently hilarious and massively entertaining action comedy loaded with amusing gags and no shortage of action-packed moments throughout, building into a surprisingly smart and incredibly enjoyable ride that you should have a great deal of fun taking. Perhaps one of the most refreshing elements is that it’s not quite the film you might expect based upon the trailers and other advertising. As opposed to another raunchy comedy filled with dirty laughs and gags (not that it doesn’t have plenty of that in addition), ‘Stuber’ ends up delivering a full on buddy style action-comedy loaded with humorous fun and ridiculous scenarios, not to mention quite a bit more violence and intensity than you’d anticipate; complete with a solid lead villain in the always awesome Iko Uwais (even if his screen time is somewhat limited for a lead baddie). It’s a significantly smarter and far more enjoyable movie than many might expect and while it may not be entirely perfect, ‘Stuber’ also seems like one that would only get better upon repeat viewings. I would definitely encourage fans of action comedy films with a mismatched buddy element at their core to try and make a point of giving ‘Stuber’ a whirl whenever possible. It’s a fun, funny and quite satisfying little ride smoothly guided along its goofy course by director Michael Dowse with a perfectly mismatched pairing in Nanjiani and Bautista that all comes together into a solid and incredibly entertaining action comedy that’s definitely worth a watch.
Overall, ‘Stuber’ is a fast paced, consistently hilarious and surprisingly action-packed little film that cleverly utilizes a frequent modern convenience used by so many these days and pokes fun at just how incredibly wrong such things can go before you even realize it. Delivering near constant fun and laughs throughout its course and in many ways evolving into a true action-comedy with Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista proving a perfectly paired odd couple more than capable of carrying along the ride and never allowing the goofy fun to falter. ‘Stuber’ is highly recommended, especially for fans of odd couple action comedies new and old who will want to give this one a shot. It should definitely be well worth ninety minutes of your time and the price of a rental one random evening when you’re seeking a funny and enjoyable film to just kick back and have some fun with.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Stuber’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.39:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks wonderful altogether and offers a smooth, clean and detailed presentation from start to finish with no problems or issues of any kind to be found throughout. It holds up remarkably well even during the various darkly lit and fast moving moments, never allowing anything occurring onscreen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a top notch high definition video presentation that looks consistently fantastic and shouldn’t disappoint fans or first time viewers in the slightest.
The Blu-ray release features a 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This multichannel soundtrack serves up a sharp, clean and frequently hard hitting audio presentation throughout that never disappoints. It continually takes full advantage of all seven available channels in order to send the music, along with bullets, vehicle activity, debris and plenty more zipping throughout the various speakers quite regularly, and never resulting in any dialogue or other audio elements that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible along the way. Overall, this is a great 7.1 DTS-HD MA soundtrack that supplies some extra fun to the overall viewing experience and should easily please the movie’s fans and newcomers alike.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Stuber’ includes a few fun and humorous extras fans of the film should appreciate. Included on the release is an ‘Audio Commentary with Director Michael Dowse and Actor Kumail Nanjiani’, in addition to a few ‘Deleted Scenes’ from the movie that also include optional commentary by Dowse and Nanjiani (running approximately 5 minutes in length altogether). We are also treated to a ‘Gag Reel’ (running approximately 3 minutes) and a ‘Joke-O-Rama’ (approximately 5 minutes), as well as a stills ‘Gallery’ and the film’s ‘Theatrical Trailer’ (2 minutes), plus the promo/advertisement for Georgia filming ‘Georgia Film Works’ (3 minutes).