Vol. 12, No. 21 – July 17 – July 30, 2019 – Movie Review

Movie Review by Cindy Summers

3 palm trees out of 4

Stu is a very gentle, mild-mannered Uber driver who picks up LA police officer Vic Manning for his first ever Uber ride, though Stu has no idea at the time that Vic unwittingly plans to basically borrow Stu and his Uber to track down new leads on a drug lord he’s been hunting for years. Stu deals with Vic’s angry neanderthal style with humor and sound advice as he tries to protect car, and save his life and perfect rating while repeatedly in the middle of gun fights and explosions. Directed by Michael Dowse, Written by Tripper Clancy and Starring Kumail Nanjiani as Stu the Uber driver and Dave Bautista as LA police officer Victor “Vic” Manning .

Stu works in a big box store and is also an Uber driver desperate for a 5 star review. Stu’s boss enjoys belittling his efforts to make extra money by calling him Stuber, but Stu takes his Uber job very seriously, even offering specialty chocolates and other treats for his riders in hopes to get a good review.

Vic is an Los Angels police officer who is on the hunt for a heroin king pin named Oka Teijo, who slipped through his hands in the past and that Vic is desperate to find to put in jail and to clear his reputation. On the day Vic decides to have eye surgery, his vision is compromised so his daughter schedules Vic an Uber, Vic being obviously smartphone challenged.

Stu gets a pickup request and Vic hops in the front for his first ever Uber ride with meek, mild-mannered Stu, completely his opposite. Vic directs Stu to several locations around LA to track down leads on Teijo, and Stu does his best to try to avoid the violence, though difficult when Vic puts criminals in his car and hands him a gun to guard them and himself.

The two buddy up and find chaos at every stop filled with gun fights and explosions, and they even stop at Vic’s daughters art show opening, where when Stu was is asked how he met her father, he simply and calmly replied “He kidnapped me”.

This was Stu’s tone the entire movie and seriously catches you off guard in extremely humorous and comedic ways. The action portions of the film are much like that of “The Good Guys” and “Pain and Gain”, over dramatized and not so realistic, but don’t consider it a true “get the bad guy movie” rather a comedy that involves getting a bad guy.

Kumail Nanjiani is insanely hilarious in this role with his causal delivery of razor sharp witty one liners that had the entire audience repeatedly laughing out loud throughout the movie. He was well cast in the role as the meeker, weaker of this unexpected buddy cop duo, and included some aspects of his culture in the character, being excellent at expressing a calm demeanor general found through years of meditation.

Dave Bautista is good for the butal, boundless tough guy cop role, though the two didn’t seem to have true chemistry like that of Mark Wahlberg and Will Ferrell in “The Other Guys” where they were also extreme opposites, but there was some strange underlying connection.

Studer is great for a good dose of unexpected humor, and is more like a night of stand up comedy with Kumail Nanjiani, who will definitely keep you laughing throughout the movie.

Rated R – 105m

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