Thursday, July 11, 2019

'Stuber' chokes on lame jokes, violence

Crummy jokes and a formulaic premise (a mismatched duo fights crime) don't do much to help Dave Bautista and Kumail Nanjiani salvage something from Stuber, a summer wreck of a movie about an Uber driver (Nanjiani) who winds up racing around Los Angeles with a macho cop. The cop (Bautista) needs all the help he can get because he’s just had Lasik surgery and his vision has yet to snap back into focus. Among the things I didn’t care about: Will Bautista's Vic Manning drop his pursuit of a major drug dealer and attend an art show that features work by his daughter (Natalie Morales)? I also found no reason to transcend indifference to another question the movie raises: Will Nanjiani's Stu be able to open a business with a woman (Betty Gilpin) for whom he harbors a long-standing crush? The screenplay (if you insist on calling it that) makes fun of Uber's driver-rating system but it probably would have done better to spend some time considering film-rating systems. The movie’s violent action isn't exciting and the jokes aren't funny. Put those two together and you come up with a big fat whiff. Oh well, if you happen to see Stuber, there’s a hidden blessing. You probably won’t remember it by the time you reach the parking lot.

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