(director: Michael Dowse; screenwriter: Tripper Clancy; cinematographer: Bobby Shore; editor: Jonathan Schwartz; music: Joseph Trapanese; cast: Kumail Nanjiani (Stu), Dave Bautista (Vic Manning), Mira Sorvino (Angie McHenry), Karen Gillan (Sara Morris), Iko Uwais (Teijo), Natalie Morales (Nicole), Betty Gilpin (Becca), Jimmy Tatro (Richie Sandusky); Runtime: 105; MPAA Rating: R; producers: John Frances Daley, Jonathan Goldstein; 20th Century Fox; 2019)

An unfunny, bottom-level, mismatched buddy-action-comedy.

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

An unfunny, bottom-level, mismatched buddy-action-comedy, that’s directed with an annoying simplicity and too much violence by Michael Dowse (“Goon”/”What If”) and written without distinction by Tripper Clancy–making his first feature film screenplay in English.

The unlucky, passive, repressed, fastidious and nerdy nighttime Uber driver Stu (Kumail Nanjiani), whose first name when combined with his occupation gives the film its cutesy title (which is a bad joke), finds a frantic, almost blind, tough-guy LAPD detective in his car giving him orders. Vic Manning (Dave Bautista, former wrestler & body builder) is recovering from recent Lasik surgery when he commandeers Stu’s car to go after the ruthless martial-arts master Asian crime boss Teijo (Iko Uwais) in the seedy Korean part of town in Los Angeles. Teijo is a psychopath who killed Vic’s cop partner Sara Morris (Karen Gillan). The detective needs Stu to be his eyes, and doesn’t mind risking the driver’s life to get his man. The nebbish teams up with the tough detective, as both think they can show their manhood by bringing down the crime boss.

Other characters in this thrill ride adventure include Stu’s nasty possible business partner in an all-female gym and love interest Becca (Betty Gilpin). Vic’s neglected daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales). And Vic’s ball-busting female boss Captain McHenry (Mia Sorvino).

The premise fails to work from the onset. The film is filled with cliches, a muddled story-line, sketchy characters and slapstick that is more stupid than funny (though some of the stupid jokes were not funny but somehow made me laugh). It’s just a bad film, with characters I could care less about. Yet if looking for something positive to say, the fight scenes were well-choreographed.

stuber review

REVIEWED ON 11/19/2019   GRADE: C