While no moviegoer will mistake this film for Casablanca, or even for solid modern action-comedies such as Men in Black or Deadpool, Stuber delivers in a way that numerous entries in the genre do not: it’s actually funny. Former professional wrestler and current Guardians of the Galaxy actor Dave Bautista turns in a quirky, winning performance as an earnest but—figuratively and literally—myopic police detective on the trial of the drug dealer who killed his partner. Kumail Nanjiani follows up his lead role in The Big Sick—for which he and his wife, Emily V. Gordon, earned a screenwriting Academy Award nomination—with another heartsick nerd, but he imbues his character with honesty, intelligence, and perfect comic delivery and timing. Stuber—a portmanteau of Mr. Nanjiani’s character name, Stu, with the ride-sharing service Uber—is good for more than a few laughs.
*** (out of *****)
©2019 David R. George III