There is absolutely no reason to catch a ride with the nasty, brutish and shrill “Stuber,” a horror movie about our current American nightmare of late capitalist economics and unchecked law enforcement masquerading as an “action comedy.” If that’s not sobering enough, “Stuber,” written by Tripper Clancy and directed by Michael Dowse, is also deeply unfunny. It centers on the odd-couple pairing of Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista, who try to cover up their complete lack of chemistry with increasingly deafening screams.
You know what’s just a laugh riot? Consider that the hero of our film, the titular “Stuber,” Stu (Nanjiani), drives Uber on the side because he doesn’t make enough at his low-wage gig at a big-box sporting goods store while also trying to open a business with his best friend/crush (Betty Gilpin). You know what’s even funnier? When he’s kidnapped by an off-duty LAPD officer, Vic (Bautista), who is on a vengeance mission and conscripts Stu into the torture and murder of civilians. Ha. Ha. Ha. Those murderous off-duty LAPD officers sure are hilarious.
It’s a busted, blatant, bumbling rip-off of Michael Mann’s “Collateral,” but rather than a smooth assassin and a panicked cabbie, it’s a rogue cop with impaired vision due to LASIK surgery and a motor-mouth sweetie behind the wheel of a leased Nissan Leaf.
In throwing together sensitive beta Stu and the testosterone-fueled Vic, “Stuber” is trying to say something about the hot topic of toxic masculinity (aren’t we all?), but it has its cake and eats it, too.
Stu might yell at Vic to talk about his feelings or being a better father. But for every one of these moments, there’s a scene where Stu learns to “man up” by becoming violent himself.
Save the Uber fare and stay far, far away.