Quickie Review: Stuber

Stuber’s problems start at the beginning – with its title. You ‘get’ the reference easy enough and early enough once the story begins to unfold (Stu + Uber = Stuber). But the name doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue or stick in your head like its stronger box office competitors (e.g. Rocketman, Toy Story 4, Yesterday, Spider-Man, etc.). Plus, Stuber is, quite simply, lame. Moviegoers craving a silly escape into a mindless action comedy may be okay with that. But for everyone else, save your money and your time – at least until this one hits the streaming market.

In a nutshell, Stuber is a weaker version of the weak but amusing mismatched buddy comedy Ride Along, only the pair rides around in an Uber instead of a police cruiser.

Kumail Nanjiani (The Big Sick) plays the aforementioned Uber driver named Stu, a mild-mannered guy desperate to regain his coveted five-star rating after a series of bad passenger pickups. His ill-fated streak continues when he provides a ride to a bulky, vision-challenged cop named Vic (Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy/Avengers) who’s in hot pursuit of a brutal killer even though he just had Lasik surgery and is still waiting for his eyes to adjust. Vic ends up drawing Stu into a lengthy chaotic chase involving guns, violence, bloodshed, drug dealers and bad cops. The movie leans heavily on a series of witty one-liners (most of which are in the trailer) and physical sight gags to try and obscure just how formulaic, predictable and thin it really is.

Sorry, Stuber. I’d like to give you five stars. But you’ll have to settle for 2 ½.

I’ll ‘lyft’ it to 3 for airplane time-killer consideration, or home viewing.

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