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Stuber

3/10

Stars: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino, Karen Gillan

Director: Michael Dowse

The genre is a rowdy action-buddy comedy, the sub-genre is patently promotional product placement - here for the call-a-cab-for-hire company Uber - hence the title of a movie whose driving force (or, rather more appropriately, driving farce) is mild-mannered Los Angeles Uber driver Stu (hence the witty title) who moonlights from his job in a sporting goods store to finance his dream spin gym business and win the girl of his dreams.

Unfortunately for Stu (who deserves some praise for keeping a straight face in the face of the all-too-often simply ludicrous low-level screenplay) his latest passenger, Bautista, turns out to be a hardened cop in pursuit of brutal drug-dealing hoodlum Uwais who murdered his partner, dragging the luckless Stu (Nanjiani) into a do-or-die hunt for the killer, made all the more dangerous by the fact that Bautista has just had an eye test and is unable to see clearly...

When someone asks 'What the hell's going on?' you could be forgiven for thinking they were asking about the film itself, as it makes its witless, cliched, odd-couple blood-and-guts progress towards the happy ending .

The resulting load of brawls delivered by director Downe and his unfortunate players cries out for frequent commercial breaks, as will happen to be the case when the film finally ends up where it belongs - on late night television where a fast-forward button will be a genuine blessing.

Alan Frank

USA 2019. UK Distributor: 20th Century Fox. Colour.
93 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 2, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 3, Swearing 0.

Review date: 14 Jul 2019