AUSTIN, Texas – July has just begun, but we finally reached the peak in 2019. This weekend, a movie will hit theaters whose entire premise is unironically dependent on the modern app-driven gig economy.
"By the way, Uber hates this movie," comedian Kumail Nanjiani said after a lot of RTX Austin 2019 attendees had just watched his movie "Ride Me 80s Buddy Cop," Stuber. "It's about a guy kidnapping someone in an Uber – it's like the Titanic was made for carnival cruise ships."
When listening to "Uber" and "Film", which immediately close, causes chills, do not fret: Stuber turns out to be less marketing fanatic than Stranger Things 3 , The omnipresent modern taxi company had no direct involvement, though it had a role to play, says director Michael Dowse. This is due to the Kleenex principle: using a fake brand would immediately remove people from the movie.
In order not to be charged with defamation, the Stuber team used Uber properly on the screen, including rating drivers, setting targets, and participating in Uber Pools (all without the real UI). On this basis, the filmmakers built perhaps the most unexpected, exaggerated comedy of the year. And if you need further proof that things were driven by comedy, not commercialization, look at the main vehicle of the film – a Nissan Leaf. The gasless EV could go up in flames after a few epic chases.
"With the Nissan Leaf, we have just added a line in ADR [Automated Dialog Replacement, or dubbing]," says Nanjiani. "No, how did it explode! It must have been propane!" – OK, now Nissan is totally cool with it. "
Be Prepared to Be Stubbed  In Stuber Stu (Nanjiani) works in a sports shop and drives part-time for Uber so he can make a small nest egg to Becca (Betty Gilpin , GLOW ) to impress. She is the woman he loves and of course regards him as a platonic shoulder he can cry on. His brother Richie (Jimmy Tatro, American Vandal, 19459022) finds the whole arrangement funny and decides whenever possible for stu rides. He even gives his favorite employee a nickname: Stu-ber. ( Editor's note: I know, I know, it's getting better Stay with us. )
Elsewhere, Vic (Dave Bautista, Guardians of the Galaxy and Blade Runner 2049 ) works for the LAPD and has thwarted his attempts to seize the heroin trader who had once taken his partner out of circulation. This persecution has kept Vic from the nascent art career of his daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales) – he was so absent-minded that he planned the much-needed Lasik on the same day as opening her first gallery show.
So, to insure her father For the show, Nicole picks up her dad's phone and installs Uber (a guy should not go to Lasik after all). But before Vic announces the gallery as the first ride-through destination, he gets a tip on another big product donation involving his whale-watching heroin dealer. Whatever a bad sharing economy fan accepts, this gig will have more than they expected – and unfortunately this fan is a gentle stu.
"Oh, I understand," says Stu as they begin their ride-sharing opportunities. "Let me drive you to all the Sarah Connors in town."
A film that knows what it is (and nothing more)
Although it depends on this very modern conceit, Stuber feels absolutely like a step backwards: a buddy comedy that might have happened in the 80s, 90s or early 2000s. These kinds of movies are more and more directly streaming or do not exist given the economic realities in the film industry (nowadays, if you do not swing after the critical worship of Moonlight or the box office of ) , Avengers why bother?). Every now and then, an indie studio lands in a movie that feels fresh – Annapurna's Booksmart for example, delivered one recent high-school buddy comedy from a woman's perspective – but Stuber is a rarity. In an era of sequels, remakes, and adaptations, 20th Century Fox has produced an original studio comedy. This is worthy of recognition – even though the film has been widely adopted from all previous buddy films.
Stubers Awe of the formula has pros and cons. On the other hand, this means that Stuber has no real female characters, though he has cast three sympathetic actors (Morales, Gilpin, and Academy Award winner Mira Sorvino) in his three biggest female roles. An overwhelming amount of Stuber focuses exclusively on Vic and Stu, and they just do not have much to do when interacting with each other.
For every Neil deGrasse Tyson-like movie lover obsessed with a movie Logical gap or factual inaccuracy to the destruction of a cinematic experience, Stuber may not be for you either. Why did not Stu just cancel the trip you ask? Well, he's worried that a four-star drop could interfere with his ability to save enough to help Becca open a spinstudio. The devices do not stop here.
That is, Stuber delivers a surprising amount of fun. It starts with the indisputable chemistry between Nanjiani and Bautista that turns out to be the kind of mating that you would like to observe as you adapt to different film genres (see also: Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly, Kevin Hart and The Rock, Amy Poehler) and Tina Fey etc.).
"The moment you have them in the same room, it was automatically within a minute when they were in the same picture," says Dowse. "Kumail obviously lends credibility to the plot, and Dave brings credibility to the comedy." He would not rule out a sequel or a very different movie with the budding comedy duo.
During Stuber Bautista's physical presence easily plays off Nanjiani's dead, self-mocking and intellectual comedy style. (Dowse says the script itself made everyone laugh, but the filmmakers also spent a lot of time improvising: "They have as many altts [alternate takes] as you can in the editing suite, and you have a funnier movie." It's math. ") Some of the best moments of the film arise from the fact that the duo tackle the same task in dramatically different ways. Nanjiani's millennia-old methods of cross-pollinating could be Stuber and the opposing fighting philosophies of the two actors come to the fore in perhaps the most sexy battle scene of the film this year.
Speaking of Stuber has a surprising amount of set pieces for a film that sometimes feels like Harold and Kumar (Who's a cop?) Go to White Castle . Bautista obviously lives in this aspect, and the big evil of the film is played by the well-known stunt choreographer Iko Uwais. That is, Stuber offers a higher combat sequence than his comedic predecessors. From car chases with Stus-leased Nissan Leaf to shootings in the veterinarian's office, Stuber never forgets his comedy center, even if his action-movie tendencies are in the limelight.
Both Bautista and Uwais have done their own stunts. "I'm not Tom Cruise or Jackie Chan – I'll be in my trailer," says Nanjiani. "You can do the shit, then I'll come in and just scream," Ahhh! "If I can do it, I'll never do a stunt in my life."
Conspiracy or catch the trailer and think, "We've done that before, have not we?" From Midnight Run to 22 Jump Street to Men in Black Film history is littered with unlikely, mismatched couples who come together to compete against evil.
But not all of these films have the obvious thought and care Stuber's displays. If the film has a police officer commanding a person of color's car or an unlikely romance that flourishes far too quickly, the film will directly recognize such things to the public (usually by a Nanjiani aside). And while using this familiar, dated machismo (except for the signed female characters) and the violence of his genre, Stuber does so in addition to light comments about hugging your emotions and admits that you need help. or define masculinity outside a sculpted Bautista-shaped box.
Stuber will neither win at the Oscars nor dominate the box office (good luck one week before The Lion King) . But a delightful popcorn movie that reliably laughs and has a few surprises is far too rare nowadays. Maybe the name of the movie might be a bit stronger for advertising, but I would not change anything else about this perfectly imperfect B-movie. Marketing was not a priority for Stuber anyway .
Stuber premiered at SXSW 2019 and will be released this weekend.
Listing image by 20th Century Fox