“The ’90s were not kind to the genre. I think they got a little bit goofy.” —Tripper Clancy, screenwriter of Stuber.
Once a reliable staple of studio summer schedules, the humble buddy-action-comedy hasn’t had much of a role to play in popular culture in the last decade or so. Into this relative void comes Stuber, a loving attempt to resurrect the form, clearly made by huge fans of the genre.
Nascent global star Kumail Nanjiani, fresh off his Oscar nomination for co-writing The Big Sick with wife Emily V. Gordon, stars as a part-time Uber driver named Stu, who endures the titular nickname care of a co-worker at a sporting goods store.
Stu’s world is rocked when his car is commandeered by Vic, a grizzled LAPD detective played by Dave Bautista, the former WWE superstar who went on to steal the Guardians of the Galaxy films and reveal dramatic depth in Blade Runner 2049.
Vic is hunting a killer, but can’t drive, so Stu is dragged into an ever-escalating series of encounters across Los Angeles. Iko Uwais, Karen Gillan, Natalie Morales and Mira Sorvino round out the supporting cast.
Although Stuber proudly positions itself as following in the legacy of films like 48 Hrs., Beverly Hills Cop and Lethal Weapon, it also represents a perhaps necessary evolution of those kinds of movies, which is something we touched on recently with the film’s producers Jonathan Goldstein and John Francis Daley (who, together, wrote Spider-Man: Homecoming and directed Game Night), in addition to speaking to Nanjiani, Bautista and screenwriter Tripper Clancy at the world premiere at SXSW earlier this year.