COMEDY; 1hr 33min
STARRING: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista
Uber-screwy: Bautista (left) and Nanjiani
Stuber’s promo tagline "little DRIVER with a huge COP” is a boom-tish that sets the scene for the most dramatic day of Los Angeles Uber driver Stu’s modest existence. Stu (The Big Sick’s Nanjiani) works in a sporting-goods store and ride-shares his leased Prius for extra cash, neither of which he appears to enjoy. Long-suffering, mild-mannered and riddled with self-doubt, he’s the last person any bona-fide strongman would enlist for urgent police business with the usual cadre of psychopathic, gun-slinging drug dealers. Unfortunately for him, hardboiled detective Vic Manning (Guardians of the Galaxy’s Bautista) has no other option after laser-eye surgery leaves him temporarily all but blind on the day a big-deal drop is going down. Vic should be taking time out to recover. Instead, he and Stu are out chasing bad guys and busting heads—including, in one enraged instance, each other’s.
Both men have other key relationship issues, Stu with the woman he’s too timid to confess his feelings to (Betty Gilpin), Vic with the artist daughter (Natalie Morales) he’s too preoccupied to be present for. But their domestic problems pale in comparison to the many horrible obstacles they encounter while chasing down life-endangering clues. “You’re built for justice, I’m built for brunch,” the weedy driver argues, neatly summing up the silly situation. But what a sweet teaming that proves to be from director Michael Dowse and screenwriter Tripper Clancy, rife with bloodied showdowns and bullseye one-liners yet tender of buddy-comedy heart. Between Vic’s soft-centred, testosteronic brawn and the terrified Stu’s rallying from foot-dragging trepidation to his cockeyed version of a vigilante, the B-team has the Prius ride of its life.