I've spoken with several Uber drivers who've talked about the good times and bad times; the people going to work and the airport, but also the drunks and crazy people that try to eat their car seats. It's a compromise that cab drivers had been dealing with for decades, but is now more front and center with the downsides of being a driver. With misery means comedic potential. Given how new rideshare business are still, there's an empty gap that could be filled by someone who can tell a funny story. Let's see if Stuber can do this.
An Uber driver Stu (played by Kumail Nanjiani) seems to have things figured out for himself; a work schedule that allows him to do this and his sporting goods job, along with the future prospect into opening a gym with his friend Becca (played by Betty Gilpin). Somewhere in LA, grizzled LAPD cop Vic Manning (played by Dave Bautista) is searching for his former partner's killer. He manages to get a lead…on the same day he had just gotten laser eye sugary. So half blind and a short time on the road that gets his car in a ditch, he calls for an Uber.
Stu arrives with Vic demanding to go to Chinatown. After finding another officer dead, Vic asks for Stu to drive him around all day until the killer is found. Stu tries to decline, but Vic refuses to take no for an answer. As they drive around, Vic starts to understand how his gruff nature has pushed away a lot of people including his daughter while Stu see's that he's spinning his wheels, just waiting for something great to happen to him. The two fight and then agree to work with each other with Stu hoping he'll at least get a five star rating.
Does Stuber do for Uber like what Caddyshack did for golf? It's a mixed bag. Stuber certainly has a funny story to work with. I think that the story of an Uber driver forced to drive for someone can be funny (this is basically a comedic version of Collateral). The problem? I only found it funny in parts. It’s a movie that knows it needs two strong actors to keep the tone in place. And this is part of the problem: I thought that one actor did better then the other.
This happens to be Dave Bautista. His performance as the no-nonsense cop reminds me of a Stallone or Schwarzenegger performance that would have been given years ago. He got a lot of laughs, especially given how half of his performance is the joke that he can't see. Think of him as a tougher Mr. Magoo. My problem steamed from Kumail Nanjiani. I could tell he was trying his hardest, but the script doesn't give him much other then a weakling personality. This should have been the highlight of the characters contrast, but I only laughed at him occasionally. I don't know if it was a poor script or a lack of direction, but he needed more work.
I'll give this three Uber stickers out of five. It's a good thing the movie is short at ninety minutes. The movie barley has enough steam to get all the way there. I think this movie were be serviceable to most people, especially those looking for a non offensive comedy on a rainy day. This is the equivalent of an Uber ride with a driver whose interesting, but not always structured well. Take what you will and see if you have the same opinion.