WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Stuber, in theaters now.
Stuber follows an action-comedy blueprint similar to Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs., Rush Hour and Ride Along. The film stars Dave Bautista as Vic, a Los Angeles police detective who commanders the car of Kumail Nanjiani's Uber driver Stu in pursuit of a gang selling drugs and ammunition.
But as much fun as it is to watch Vic attempt to turn a petrified Stu into a cop on the fly, their chemistry doesn't hold a candle to the mercenary-and-cabbie relationship of Deadpool and Dopinder.
When Wade Wilson (Ryan Reynolds) needed a taxi in Deadpool, Dopinder (Karan Soni) was at his beck and call. Their exchanges were priceless, as Dopinder's awkwardness, coupled with his aspirations to steal Gita from his cousin, Bandhu, left audiences rolling. Seeing Deadpool offering love advice and tips on how to be a hero made the film provided relief from the over-the-top violence.
In only about 15 minutes of screen time, Dopinder left his mark. From Deadpool paying him with a high-five to Dopinder weirding out Colossus and Negasonic Teenage Warhead to Wade forgetting his bag of weapons in the cab, almost every scene guaranteed hilarious banter.
Deadpool 2 then saw Dopinder try to officially become a superhero, and Wade deny him the opportunity. Deadpool didn't want him to join X-Force, not even under the moniker of "Brown Panther," because he didn't feel he was cut out for it. Also, he simply didn't want to lose the world's best wheelman. And as the sequel progressed, seeing Dopinder trying to learn under the tutelage of Blind Al and Weasel so he could evolve past a sidekick, only to watch him become annoyed that a non-powered Peter made Deadpool's team certainly reminded us why he is so awesome.
Deadpool's brotherhood with Dopinder hit full gear when the latter drove Wade, Domino and Cable to the Essex House for Mutant Rehabilitation, only to flee when the time came to fight Juggernaut. It was quite unexpected as many felt he'd do Deadpool proud, something he'd ironically go on to accomplish later on when he smashed into the Headmaster at the end to help out Wade and Cable, finally proving he could be a superhero. It was a cleverly executed twist, which left us wanting a road trip even more with Wade.
Now, while Stuber has elements of that -- profanity-laced rants and comedic violence, for starters -- Stu feels like a bargain-bin version of Dopinder. And as cool as it is seeing Vic attempt to hone Stu into a law enforcer, Deadpool's mentorship was more subtle and surprising.
Directed by Michael Dowse, Stuber stars Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, Iko Uwais, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Jimmy Tatro, Mira Sorvino and Karen Gillan. The film is in theaters now.