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A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Stuber is an odd-couple action comedy about a new Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) who picks up Vic (Dave Bautista), a loud, aggressive LAPD officer recovering from eye surgery. Expect plenty of mature content: Violence is strong, with lots of guns and shooting, dead bodies, blood spurts/bloody wounds, some gore, martial arts-style fighting, punching, hitting with blunt objects, car chases, crashes, and explosions. Language is constant and profane, with countless uses of "f--k," "motherf----r," "s--t," and more. A scene in a male strip club includes brief, graphic, full-frontal male nudity, and there's plenty of sex talk, innuendo, and sexual gestures. Product placement is more obvious than in many movies, with constant references to Uber, plus sriracha, Nissan Leaf, Twitter, and LASIK. The bad guys are drug dealers, heroin is mentioned, and little bags of heroin are shown. A woman talks about drinking tequila and appears to be drunk. You'll likely chuckle a few times, but overall the movie feels rushed and routine.
What's the story?
In STUBER, LAPD detective Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) loses his partner (Karen Gillan) during a shoot-out and becomes obsessed with catching her killer, drug trafficker Oka Teijo (Iko Uwais). Months later, because Vic's eyesight was a factor in the incident, he schedules laser eye surgery, which renders him blind for 24 hours. Naturally, he immediately gets a tip about Oka's whereabouts -- but he can't drive. So Vic hails an Uber, driven by Stu (Kumail Nanjiani). As Vic uncovers new clues, he badgers Stu into more driving, even though the woman Stu loves, Becca (Betty Gilpin), is expecting him. To make matters worse, there's a mole in the police department, and Vic's daughter (Natalie Morales) also becomes a target. Can Vic and Stu stop bickering long enough to save the day?
Is it any good?
Bautista and Nanjiani are likable enough together, and the movie has a few laughs, but overall it feels rushed and routine. It's difficult to care about the lazy plot or the characters' involvement in it. Stuber starts badly, with a violent fight/shoot-out scene that's shot in headache-inducing shaky-cam, and the fact that Bautista is back together with his Guardians of the Galaxy co-star Gillan offers little comfort. Simultaneously, Uwais -- who was previously the charismatic hero of the Raid movies -- is painted as a nasty, hateful, paper-thin villain who simply seems to enjoy killing cops and their friends and families.
Revenge is supposed to drive the plot, but there's no fire or fury here, and it feels empty. In one cross-cut scene, Vic interviews a woman while Stu has a heart-to-heart conversation with a male stripper; each time the film cuts back to Vic furthering the movie's plot, the scene just dies. Indeed, all of the funniest lines are simply that, asides that hover slightly above and outside the plot. The rest of Stuber -- all yelling and crashing and destruction (not to mention ridiculous product placement) -- is flat-out tired. It's too bad Bautista and Nanjiani couldn't have been paired up in something more worthy of their time and talents.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Stuber's violence. Is it necessary to the story or does it seem over the top? How did it make you feel?
How does the movie portray sex? Is it used for humor? Why is sex sometimes considered funny?
Does the movie's product placement feel like advertising? Does watching it make you want to use Uber or other products?
Does the movie champion the idea of teamwork? What's good about this team, and what's not so good?
The movie talks a little about what it means to "be a man." What are the movie's good points on that subject, and what are its not-so-good points?
- In theaters: July 12, 2019
- Cast: Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Karen Gillan
- Director: Michael Dowse
- Studio: 20th Century Fox
- Genre: Comedy
- Run time: 105 minutes
- MPAA rating: R
- MPAA explanation: violence and language throughout, some sexual references and brief graphic nudity
- Last edit: July 09, 2019
For kids who love action comedy
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Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.