Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Michael Dowse|
|Written by||Tripper Clancy|
|Music by||Joseph Trapanese|
|Edited by||Jonathan Schwartz|
|Distributed by||Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures|
|Box office||$31.1 million|
Stuber is a 2019 American buddy action comedy film directed by Michael Dowse and written by Tripper Clancy. It stars Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, and Karen Gillan. The film follows an Uber driver who unwillingly becomes part of a police officer's arrest operation even though he was against being a part of it all and was just doing his job.
The film had its world premiere at South by Southwest on March 13, 2019 and was theatrically released in the United States on July 12, 2019. Stuber was produced by 20th Century Fox, but following the merger of the studio with Disney, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures handled distribution. The film received mixed reviews from critics, who criticized it for not taking full advantage of its potential but praised Nanjiani and Bautista's chemistry.
Stu Prasad, a meager Uber driver obsessed to get his first 5-star review in the app, is forced by an aggressive Los Angeles Police Department detective Vic Manning to drive him around town to catch notorious drug lord Oka Tedjo. For Vic, it is especially personal, as Tedjo had murdered Sara Morris, Vic's rookie partner, six months earlier. However, Vic is unable to do the task alone as he recently got a laser eye surgery that prevents him from having good sight.
Along the way, Stu deals with Vic's deranged behavior while trying to express his feelings to his friend Becca. Stu and Vic confront each other about Stu's inability to man up while Vic is called out for his toxic masculinity and negligence toward his daughter Nicole as it draws similarities to the attitude that Vic's own father had shown him.
Clues lead Stu and Vic to travel to various locations in Los Angeles, such as Koreatown, then a male stripper club and a house in Long Beach when Vic detains a key suspect of his investigation and rescues a dog from being drugged to hide the evidence. However, Stu accidentally shoots the thug in the leg and Vic leads them to an Animal Hospital where a group of thugs find the two and try to attack them. While Stu is scared, Vic manages to take control of the situation by making Stu throw dog food cans at the thugs and shooting those who got stunned.
Vic, using the phone of one of the thugs, sends a text to their leader to inform of "his" death and then runs to Nicole's museum exposition to warn her about the impending danger. Meanwhile, Stu struggles to keep his relationship with Becca, a friend and partner of his in an upcoming spin biking gym who is heartbroken due to a fight with another love interest and is wanting him come to her home to get drunk and have casual sex, however Stu is more interested to date her instead.
Eventually, the two face Tedjo at the location of his drop, where Vic finds that Captain McHenry is a dirty cop who has been working with Tedjo and was planning to frame Vic for murder to get him off their trail, while Stu does admit he loves Becca, but then realizes it wouldn't work since he knows she doesn't feel the same way and that they shouldn't even be friends.
Stu and Vic work together to take down the villains, but Nicole ends up in the mayhem when she finds them and is nearly shot by Tedjo. Stu takes the bullet, and Vic almost kills Tedjo before Nicole stops him, and the cops arrive to bring Tedjo to justice.
After Stu and Vic recover, they become good friends while Vic finally gives Stu a 5-star review in Uber (despite the $5300 fare he has to pay him), and Becca has started up a successful spin biking business, though she obviously is still mad at Stu for leaving her. Vic arrives at Nicole's for Christmas, along with the dog he found earlier, only to discover that Nicole is dating Stu.
- Kumail Nanjiani as Stu Prasad, an Uber driver.
- Dave Bautista as Victor "Vic" Manning, Nicole’s father, Sara's partner, and a grizzled LAPD detective.
- Iko Uwais as Oka Tedjo, a ruthless drug trafficker and cop killer.
- Natalie Morales as Nicole Manning, Vic's daughter.
- Betty Gilpin as Becca, Stu’s best friend and love interest.
- Jimmy Tatro as Richie Sandusky
- Mira Sorvino as Captain Angie McHenry, Vic’s boss and later revealed as an ally for Tedjo.
- Karen Gillan as Sara Morris, Vic's late partner.
- Steve Howey as Felix
- Amin Joseph as Leon
- Scott Lawrence as Dr. Branch
- Rene Moran as Amo Cortez
- Julia Vasi as Sloane
- Melody Peng as Brooke
- Victoria Anastasi as Melanie
- Malachi Malik as Tariq
- Patricia French as Grandma Doris
- Jay D. Kacho as Detective Kramer
In December 2017, Dave Bautista was cast as a "detective who commandeers an unsuspecting Uber driver named Stu" while Michael Dowse was announced as the director of the film. In March 2018, Kumail Nanjiani signed on to costar with Bautista. In April 2018, Iko Uwais joined the cast. In May 2018, Betty Gilpin, Natalie Morales, Mira Sorvino, Steve Howey, and Amin Joseph joined the cast. Ramin Djawadi was originally supposed to score the film, later it was announced that Joseph Trapanese would score the film.
In the United States and Canada, the film was projected to gross $7–15 million from 3,050 theaters in its opening weekend. The film made $3.1 million on its first day, including $750,000 from Thursday night previews. It went on to debut to $8 million, finishing fourth at the box office. In its second weekend the film made $4.1 million, dropping 50% and finishing sixth.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 43% based on 192 reviews, with an average rating of 5.05/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Though it makes a strong case for future collaborations between Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista, Stuber fails to mesh its contrasting genres, settling for an overtly violent, mildly entertaining diversion that's far from a five-star ride." On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 42 out of 100, based on 35 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "B" on an A+ to F scale, while those at PostTrak gave it an average 3.5 out of 5 stars and a 51% "definite recommend".
Peter Debruge of Variety gave the film a positive review and wrote: "It's both funny and familiar to see these two incredibly different personalities thrust together for what's meant to be a short ride."
Glenn Kenny, writing for RogerEbert.com said "The only thing worse than hot garbage is elaborately lukewarm mediocrity, and for too much of its running time, the new comedy Stuber is just that." Simon Thompson of IGN wrote: "Stuber is an awkward, uneven action-comedy that never realizes its full potential. It squanders a good premise and an odd couple pairing with potential that could have delivered something special." A.A. Dowd of The A.V. Club gave the film a grade C−, calling it "a big waste of talent".
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