The following movie review was written by Dominic DeAngelo and does not reflect the opinions of WrestleZone as a whole. We encourage you all to discuss Dominic’s thoughts in the comments section at the bottom of this post and follow him on Twitter @DominicDeAngelo and listen to his Get The Tray Tables podcast exclusively on WrestleZone Radio.
It’s pretty damn tough to find an original movie in a world that siphons off the fix of 90’s nostalgia with nonstop remakes and reboots, and Stuber does one solid job of balancing a truly original product with the ideals and even some comedic troupes that made attending theaters fun back in say, 1995.
Stuber, at its heart, is a buddy cop film, even if only one guy is an actual cop. Bautista’s character, Vic Manning, is that boy in blue who loses his partner by a prominent drug dealer’s gun. This said drug dealer quickly becomes Manning’s white whale and six months later, Vic gets a lead on this guy, except it happens to be the same day he gets LASIK surgery, which means he’s as sharp-eyed as Hans Moleman. He’s got to resort to Uber, an app that his artistically successful daughter just introduced to him post-procedure so he could attend her art show, but being a cop with abandonment issues, Manning happens to prioritize his white whale before making the show.
Enter Stu (Kumail Nanjiani), a self-aware, outgoing Uber driver who takes great pride in wheeling around customers in hopes of getting those five-star reviews. More often than not, Stu’s effort is not reciprocated in kindness. The same can be said for his full-time job and the woman he loves, who has full-time friend-zoned him. Despite this, Stu has all but settled into his sterile lifestyle, but Vic saddling up with Stud takes he and his leased electric car down a much different road.
When I say Stuber reflects an action film that’s from the 1990s, I mean that in every positive way possible. It’s “Rush Hour mixed with Kindergarten Cop” in tone and in suspension of disbelief, but that doesn’t at all impede the film’s originality. From ride sharing to Facetiming, much of today’s technology lends itself to some very comedic moments and uncomfortable encounters. In addition, the presence of these new-fangled machines adds to Bautista’s character, who doesn’t know a retweet from rerun.
And Bautista’s presence in Stuber is absolutely a highlight for making the film stand out. From a wrestling fan standpoint, you get to see Dave pull out the highlighter and showcase his range that made him a one-of-a-kind wrestling persona. His “Animalistic” bad-assery is there when it’s needed and so is his ability for wit and sense of comedic timing whether Vic is in on the joke or oblivious. One of the greatest moments in the movie is when Vic acts like one of his informants to get the location of a woman he needs to speak to and just that brief scene really puts the thought in your head, “Man, I can’t wait to see what else Big Dave does in Hollywood.”
Kumail Nanjiani might very well be the real show-stealer, however. Anybody can relate to Stu in some form or fashion, whether it’s settling for what fits best in the current moment or how one might think they’d react if they’re entangled in a blaze of gunfire. What really brings Stu to life is that he isn’t a dummy. He very much provides the voice of sarcastic reason in wild situations and Nanjiami’s delivery in those said situations make Stu the perfect compliment to Dave’s Vic. And if you’ve seen Kumail and Dave interact off-screen together, you can definitely see that innate chemistry shine through in Stuber.
What made Bautista a great wrestler is exactly what makes him a star – versatility and the ability to not take himself seriously. In Stuber he does both and it plays to an audience that wants a break from the every day mundane, just like Stu received. Go check it out because Stuber is one hell of a ride.