Over the last few months, action movie fans have been teased with trailers for Stuber, a summertime action comedy starring comedian Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) and behemoth Dave Bautista (Guardians of the Galaxy). The premise of the buddy comedy finds Uber driver Stu (Nanjiani) playing chauffeur to gruff cop hell-bent on revenge (Bautista). It’s a familiar premise to be sure, but — as with all buddy comedies — the success or failure of the film lies in the details.
Judging by what we know of the story so far, Stuber is shaping up to be a high point of the summer movie rush. Before we go any further, check out the full trailer for Stuber right here:
In a fast-paced two minutes, the Stuber trailer checks all the boxes: a few witty quips, some decent pop culture references, the hint of a few sweet fist fights (Iko Uwais is there!), and some grade-A action movie camera work. As the film’s production notes (released today) reveal, however, Stuber is a much smarter breed of action flick than you might first suspect.
Take, for instance, the reason that puts Dave Bautista in the same car as Kumail Nanjiani. Casual viewers might wonder why in the hell a cop is having himself driven around town by a mincing Uber driver in a desperate quest to maintain his five-star rating. The answer is simple, but kind of brilliant: Bautista’s cop character just got a hot (but not entirely legal) tip about how to run down a criminal from his past. Unfortunately, Bautista also finished a Lasik treatment literally moments earlier.
It’s a silly, but realistic(ish) detail that immediately grounds Bautista’s character. Without him having done a thing, we know that the cop is unrelenting (and maybe a little revenge-crazy), but he’s also a man past his prime, trying desperately to stay at the top of his game. That, there, could turn out to be a good character. Add to that setup Bautista’s well-documented ability to imbue his performances with complexity and charm, and suddenly you’re cooking with fire.
Also, a post-Lasik Bautista is going to have blurry vision, like, literally the whole movie, and that’s just funny.
Stuber appears to be made up of a pile of similarly-inspired details that should make for a truly special buddy comedy when it hits theaters on July 12.