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film review

Dave Bautista, left, and Kumail Nanjiani in Stuber.Hopper Stone/20th Century Fox

  • Stuber
  • Directed by: Michael Dowse
  • Written by: Tripper Clancy
  • Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista and Karen Gillan
  • Classification: 18A; 93 minutes

Rating:

2.5 out of 4 stars

Exactly as contrived as the title would suggest, and sometimes a little too thick on both the clash of masculinities and jokes about five stars, Stuber nevertheless only needs its two stars to be a worthwhile ride.

As Stu, Kumail Nanjiani makes you feel the exasperated degradation of your typical ride-share driver, even before he picks up Dave Bautista’s Vic, a Los Angeles cop suffering from literal and figurative short-sightedness. Nanjiani’s defensive snideness – “Let me guess, you want me to take you to all the Sarah Connors?” he greets Vic – and mounting terror does the heavier lifting, but their dynamic lets Bautista be a wrecking ball of physical comedy, while giving him quietly sharp moments as a guy whose only trick is to lean on others’ weakness.

The action half of the action-comedy tends to lean more towards slapstick than shoot-’em-up, even when heads are exploding, and while it’s capably handled, the movie is at its best when its two leads are bickering in the car. Stuber is probably the only ride share where talking should be strongly encouraged.

Stuber opens July 12

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