Nothing says box office winner more than a politically-conscious action movie that addresses such woke issues as toxic masculinity. According to actors Dave Bautista ("Guardians of the Galaxy") and Kumail Nanjiani ("The Big Sick"), the upcoming movie "Stuber" promises to be just that.
"The film, with Bautista as a rogue cop and Nanjiani as a straightlaced Uber driver, is meant to be a modern action movie, taking on toxic masculinity and calling out some classic action-hero tropes," reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Speaking with THR, Nanjiani said that the narrow definition of masculinity has been harmful and that the action movie would be a perfectly acceptable genre to discuss such issues.
"I feel like we're in a time where we can talk about masculinity and how it's always been very traditionally defined in a narrow way and how that's led to problems for everyone — for women and for men," Nanjiani said at the Los Angeles premiere on Wednesday. "I felt like it would be interesting to try to talk about that stuff in a traditionally very masculine genre. A buddy cop action comedy is such a dude movie, so we thought it would be interesting to talk about dude issues that also affect the whole world, in a traditionally male genre."
Bautista told THR that toxic masculinity should be discussed more and the film will be "constantly talking about it."
"Throughout the film, we're constantly talking about it," Bautista said. "Sometimes you don't realize it because we're making you laugh or disguising it with action, but we really do have the discussion throughout the film."
Actress Betty Gilpin, who plays the film's love interest, boasted that the "Trojan-horses a woke narrative in it," which is a rather asinine thing to say because the whole point of the Trojan horse is to ambush people without them knowing it.
"It still checks all of the boxes of a classic action movie, but it has this secret thread of men talking about their aggression and anger that are no longer helpful or are standing in their way," Gilpin said. "I think that's such an important missing piece that we have right now of men joining the dialogue, and I think Kumail Nanjiani as a person has really stepped up vocally to talk about what men need to change and talk about. And honestly, it's very sexy."
"Stuber" has made waves by being the first R-rated Disney film in six years, since it is being released after the 20th Century Fox merger. Director Michael Dowse told THR that the two leads being actors of color was solely due to Bautista and Nanjiani's talent.
"I try to cast colorblind as much as I can and just find the best actor for the part, and they were the two best guys. It felt like they were having a moment and hopefully we can be part of that" Dowse said. "I do think that we tried really hard to cast as diverse as possible and change things up as much as we can. But the two leads just happened, which I think is great."
Despite all the woke enthusiasm, "Stuber" has been largely panned by the critics, earning a tepid 46% on Rotten Tomatoes.