by Evan Brown
Rated M. Starring Dave Bautista, Kumail Nanjiani. Directed by Michael Dowse.
Have you ever sat in a ride sharing car and thought to yourself, “This experience would make an interesting movie”?
Well, I haven’t either. But if I was a testosterone-filled cop and my Uber driver was an emotional wreck lacking confidence then maybe we could fill 120 minutes of screen time with some entertaining situations. I am surprised that it has taken Hollywood this long to bring out a movie based on the whole car sharing concept but here comes Stuber – 2019’s summer action comedy.
Vic (Bautista) is a surly, non-emotional, violent cop who recruits Stu (Nanjiani) a physically weak, emotional and caring Uber driver as his transport for the day. This mismatched pair find themselves in ridiculous situations driving around Los Angeles trying to fight crime and catch an international drug lord.
Be warned that Stuber is extremely violent with over-the-top mayhem happening in almost every scene, which actually attributes to a lot of the film’s charm. There is action in the street, shopping malls, veterinary clinics, art galleries, basically everywhere. The constant changing of scenery is quite excessive but in a film of constant shoot-outs and fight scenes it helps provide interest.
The big message Stuber tries to present to the world of 2019 is the idea of ‘what makes a real man?’ One character is the violent and silent strongman and the other is caring, emotional and patient – both have their strengths and weaknesses. Whilst trying to make the point that all men need to be emotional and caring, a lot of jokes were made at the expense of the emotional character. It reminded me of Jack Black’s film Shallow Hal which tried to promote inner beauty yet all the jokes were against overweight people. To be fair to Stuber, there were a lot of jokes made at Bautista’s expense however the overall vibe to me seemed to lean more in the strongman’s favour – it is an action film after all.
The major theme of the movie is this idea of violence vs emotion: what makes true man? Can you have one without the other? In a moment of desperation and frustration Stu yells at Vic:
“It isn’t a sign of weakness to ask for help.”
As humans, it is in our nature to rely on ourselves. We can all be stubborn at times when it comes to asking for help. 1 John 5:14-15 assures us saying:
“This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us in whatever we ask, we know that we have the requests which we have asked for Him.”
God tells us to rely on him in times of trouble, for he will always listen.
The Verdict: Stuber is a fresh take on an action comedy and attempts to present a positive message to the world about what a real man actually is. I would have liked to have seen more representation of both genders with the addition of female lead and the message changed to ‘what makes a good human being?’, but we can’t have it all.
There is a lot of graphic violence, some male nudity and constant language so if these things offend you I would advise against it. 3/5
Stuber is in cinemas now.