Stuber

**

Reviewed by: Angus Wolfe Murray

Stuber
"The plot is by numbers and has no sense of involvement." | Photo: 20th Century Fox

Following the fashion for wrestling heavyweights to make the leap to movie stardom like Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who was rumoured to be the highest paid action star on the Hollywood firmament, meet Dave Bautista, son of a Filipino hairdresser in Washington, DC, who fought as The Animal to the heights of his profession before injuring himself and giving acting a go.

At 6ft 6in, with a face that reflects the promise of a thunderstorm he has the physical attributes of a strong but silent soldier of ill fortune except the silence is far from golden.

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He plays Vic, a LAPD detective who can’t see too well after an assignment went ugly and left him faux blind which is why he hires the help of Stu (Kumail Nanjiani of The Big Sick), an Uber driver, to be his chauffeur and dogsbody as he hunts down a drug dealer who has shot and killed his former partner.

The film requires a V sticker as the violence comes too often and too much - the baddies miss, the goodies hit and the humour has a stain of racism about it. Unlike Kevin Hart movies, where personality smudges colour in the style of Eddie Murphy, the Pakistani-American stand-up Nanjiani embraces the nerd culture created by the white man’s prejudice and gives it a second wind.

The plot is by numbers and has no sense of involvement. Stu is treated like a throw away and does a good job at staying alive. The humour follows the big man/big fists storyline with an apology for the little guy although Bautista is given the flattest lines while Nanjiani bounces with possibility.

What might have been a comic shoot-’em-up turns out to be a wasted journey. Bautista lacks The Rock’s style despite Nanjiani lightening the touch. It’s a pity all round, a sadness even.

Reviewed on: 11 Jul 2019
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An Uber driver finds himself in a spot of bother after picking up a detective on the trail of a drug dealer.

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