Spoiler Alert: Read no further if you haven't yet watched Stuber**.**
Like a lot of people, I never got around to seeing Stuber when the crime-based comedy starring Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista was released in theaters in 2019. And so I was pleasantly surprised when the love letter to '80s buddy cop movies was released on HBO in April 2020, finally giving me the chance to watch the movie critics panned and audiences didn't seem to mind.
When watching Stuber, I began to notice an abundance of Easter eggs, jokes, and other references to some of the biggest action properties of the 1980s. There were so many in fact, that I wanted to watch the movie a second time just to pick up on all of the things I missed the first go around. And that got me thinking — if I missed some of these references during my first viewing, then maybe other people were in the same boat.
Here are the awesome '80s action Easter eggs and great jokes you probably missed in the hilarious and shockingly violent Stuber.
The Animal Hospital Shootout Features An Homage To John Woo
Make no doubt about it, Stuber is one of the most visceral comedies to come out in quite some time, and one of the most brutal action sequences takes place about halfway through the 90-minute movie when Stu Prasad (Kumail Nanjiani) and Vic Manning (Dave Bautista) find themselves squaring off against a band of thugs in the middle of a shootout in an animal hospital.
The scene features a number of different animals, including dogs, rabbits, a parrot, and even a few white doves flying around after the shooting stops. It doesn't take a film scholar to figure out that this is a pretty fun Easter Egg paying homage to the work of Hong Kong action director John Woo whose trademark was the inclusion of doves in many of his films. Woo used the element so much in the '80s and '90s that it's become an action movie trope at this point.
There's An Easy To Miss Reference To Wrestler Andre The Giant
Not all of the references in Stuber are reserved for buddy cop and action movies of the '80s, there's also a funny made about legendary wrestler-turned-actor Andre The Giant. You don't think it's because the movie stars Dave Bautista, another wrestler who turned to acting after his career died down? Surely not.
After Stu picks up Vic in the beginning of the movie, they stop to pick up two college-aged girls since the Vic unknowingly selected Uber Pool. After Vic flashes his badge and berates the girls until they leave the car, they give Stu a one-star rating and attach a message reading:
One, that's funny because Andre was one of the biggest (literally and figuratively) superstars of the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) and in general a major pop culture icon of the '80s. Second, much like Dave Bautista would do decades later, Andre later became an actor appearing in some of the biggest films of the decade in Conan The Destroyer and more notably The Princess Bride.
The Movie Ties In With Christmas, A Potential Nod To Action Flicks Like Lethal Weapon And Die Hard
This one doesn't come until the very end of the movie, but Stuber features a nice little reference to two of the greatest action movies of the '80s that just so happen to partially take place around Christmas. The classic buddy cop film Lethal Weapon and cop trapped in a tower with terrorists action thriller Die Hard are both set during the holiday season, so it would only be proper for Stuber to give a nod to the season.
In the early goings of the movie, Vic's daughter Nicole (Natalie Morales) mentions that she will be visiting her mom and step-dad for Christmas instead of staying in Los Angeles with her dad. At the end of the movie, however, we see Vic pickup Chinese food and take it a house that is decorated in a ridiculous number of the Christmas lights and decorations, a house belonging to Nicole and her new boyfriend, Stu.
This reference isn't as overt as some of the others featured throughout the rest of the movie, but why else would you have Christmas so heavily featured in the final moments of a love letter to the '80s action movies that just so happened to take place during the season of giving?
Did You Catch The Reference To The Terminator?
One of the funniest jokes in all of Stuber is heard as soon as Vic gets into Stu's electric car in the beginning of their adventure together. Just as Vic, who's wearing protective glasses following his lasik eye surgery, sits down in the car, Stu jokes,
This little nod to James Cameron's groundbreaking The Terminator is one of the first jokes you hear paying homage to action movies of yesteryear, and its quick and snappy delivery makes it all the better. It also doesn't hurt that Vic's glasses look similar to the shades worn by Arnold Schwarzenegger's T-800 in the classic science fiction thriller.
There's Even A Reference To The Karate Kid
Remember the great shootout in the animal hospital, the one with the great John Woo Easter egg at the end? Well, that's not the only '80s action movie reference slipped into the scene.
Before all the shooting (and dog food can throwing) gets underway, a group of armed henchmen enter the room in matching black outfits. Just as the thugs settle in, Vic throws out yet another reference to a cherished '80s classic, The Karate Kid when he says:
Vic and Stu then quickly dispense of the gunmen, much like Daniel LaRusso (Ralph Macchio) in The Karate Kid.
Those are the great Easter eggs and references to classic '80s action and buddy cop films found in Stuber. With some pretty great action and electric chemistry between Kumail Nanjiani and Dave Bautista, we can only hope that there's a sequel at some point in the near future. If not, maybe we'll see the pair share the screen in a Marvel Cinematic Universe crossover film now that Nanjiani is set to appear in the upcoming Eternals movie.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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