At this point in his career, Dave Bautista has considerable familiarity when it comes to the realm of action movies. After all, he’s been a part of two of the most successful action franchises of all time in the last few years, with both Marvel Cinematic Universe, and James Bond roles on his resume. The guy has most definitely thrown enough on-screen punches to be jaded by the experience, and yet he apparently found himself shocked while watching the fight sequences in the new comedy Stuber.
Bautista’s reaction to the finished film was brought up in conversation with the actor and his co-star, Kumail Nanjiani, during the Los Angeles press day for the feature last month. It came up during discussion about famed The Raid star Iko Uwais, who both has a supporting role in the movie, and also contributed to the production as Fight Choreographer. You can watch the two stars discuss their colleague by clicking play on the video below!
Those who have seen The Raid and/or The Raid 2 know that Iko Uwais has some of the most impressive martial arts skills to grace the big screen in the modern era, and Dave Bautista expressed great gratitude for the opportunity to work with him in the making of Stuber.
Part of this appreciation extends from the fact that the Guardians of the Galaxy star felt like Uwais was not just a talented fighter, but a smart collaborator. He explained that what initially had been planned by Indonesian actor/filmmaker in pre-production on Stuber actually didn’t fully suit his particular skills, but they were able to work together to craft something that worked better. Said Bautista,
Iko is a different level. He's a different level guy. When we worked together it took a few discussions, because they had choreographed a bunch of stuff that I just wasn't suited for. It was more of that Asian style of fighting. And so we had a lot of discussions, and we found a way to make our different styles work. But he's just, he's so talented. I mean, he's so talented. And he's got a charisma. He's a star.
It wasn’t only Bautista who was left impressed by the experience, however. Kumail Nanjiani’s work with Iko Uwais was a bit different than his co-stars, as he is limited to primarily being a spectator in the final fight between the two men in the movie, but even still he gained a particular appreciation for the work by watching them figure out the moves that were best for the scene.
Adding in additional praise for what Dave Bautista can do in an action scene, Nanjiani explained,
It was pretty amazing watching them choreograph this fight. At the end of the movie there's a fight that I'm sort of just watching. Iko had choreographed the fight, but then they sort of were tweaking it as they were going. And I just felt so lucky being able to watch these two guys who are amazing at this, doing what they do.
All of this led to what we see in the finished cut of Stuber, which evidently really put Bautista in the back of his chair when he had the opportunity to see it for the first time. Being a movie without a giant visual effects budget, the production had to make the big fight sequences practical and impressive, and it’s co-lead was sincerely impressed by its ability to do both:
I was actually shocked at how good the action was because, I mean, I shot a lot of it, the fight stuff, but I hadn't seen it pieced together. When I saw it on film for the first time I was amazed how good it was - and it feels very real. It feels very practical and gritty, and I think that's why people are kind of getting that throwback feel [from] it, because it's not all CGI. It's real practical fight scenes.
Directed by Michael Dowse, and co-starring Mira Sorvino, Natalie Morales, Betty Gilpin, Karen Gillan, and Jimmy Tatro, Stuber is an action comedy that finds a positive review-addicted Uber driver named Stu (Kumail Nanjiani) taken hostage by a cop recovering from Lasik surgery (Dave Bautista) who is on the hunt for a powerful crime lord (Iko Uwais). The film is now playing in theaters everywhere.
To see what else is getting set to play at your local cineplex in 2019, check out our Movie Release Calendar.