Stretch – 4 out of 5
Stretch isn’t one of those mainstream movies that gets a lot of press. The film was made in 2013 and, due to production fuckery, wasn’t released until this year and, even then, it wasn’t given a theater release and was sent straight to VOD and instant services. However, with the right marketing, this thing probably could have done well at the theater because it’s a great piece of work. But, let’s be honest, even though people claim that they want originality in a movie release, they never would have spent their money on this one because they would rather complain that there are no original films than actually support the ones that are, in fact, out there.
|I have the same defeated posture whenever I read comments on almost any article|
on the internet. There's just so much negativity and angry raging around the interwebs.
|Stretch will get his passenger to the airport anyway|
Stretch tells the tale of a failed actor/bitter limo driver nicknamed—you guessed it—Stretch (Patrick Wilson). Stretch recently came off a break up to the girl he thought was "the one" and she has moved on to great things while he wallows away in a dead-end job and gambling debt. Then, if that wasn’t bad enough, he’s haunted by the mirage of the limo business’ best driver; Karl with a K (Ed Helms). It seems like things can’t worse until he finds out that he might be losing his job as a mysterious man called The Jovi is stealing clients from the company he works for. Oh, and because life is clearly just taking a shit on Stretch, his gambling debts have been called in and he now has to pay six grand before the night is up. With help from office girl Charlie (Jessica Alba), Stretch sets out to steal The Jovi’s high end clients and ends up with an eccentric man by the name of Roger Karos (played by the uncredited Chris Pine) in the back of his limo. Karos has promised a handsome payment if he serves him without question. Desperate, Stretch agrees but isn’t prepared for what the night holds for him.
|When Karl with a K goes to Starbucks, they probably write his name on the cup like |
It really is a shame that this film wasn’t released in the theaters because, with the right marketing, I believe it could have done well. The film is slick, has an entertaining story filled with wit, style and humor, and the performances are awesome! Director/Co-writer Joe Carnahan takes the formula of a guy at the end of his rope forced to do whatever it takes to get his ass out of the frying pan and crafts it with a hip edge, tight and creative editing and killer visuals.
|Another killer visual, Chris Pine with the homeless man hair and beard.|
|Hoff was quite amusing in his single scene.|
The technical aspects of the film like the shots, camera work, lighting and editing all look fantastic but the true highlight of the film, for me, was the absolutely great performances. There are some fun cameos from Ray Liotta, David Hasselhoff and Norman Reedus in the film but Wilson, Pines, Helms and even a bit part by Jason Mantzoukas keeps this film from ever feeling like generic fluff. The story was never in any danger of becoming that but the incredibly entertaining and fun performances from the entire cast really made the film stand out. Heck, even Jessica Alba—an actress I don’t often find to be that captivating in her acting—did a great job.
|Something something Norman Reedus something something we riot.|
Another element I really enjoyed was the way the film toyed with its central theme of fate. Stretch doesn’t belief that his entire life is planned and mapped out. Who can blame him? He thought he was on a path to greatness after he found the love of his life and suddenly it's shit turn after shit turn. The way the story and plot play with fate and coincidence and has this all tied together in what, on first glance, will look like a Hollywood happy ending (but ends a little more creatively than that) only adds another level to why this movie stands out all by itself and is probably enough argument to state why this film shouldn’t have been fated to be on instant and VOD services and actually got a wide theater release to appease the people who claim they want Hollywood to produce more original content.
|The mustache on Karl with a K's face makes him look like a mix between John|
Waters and Walt Disney.
The film has a high replay value but does have a few moments where momentum from a fast pace story will slow down in order to be built up again. Was this an entertainment killer? Absolutely not because even when Stretch is at its slowest it’s still fun and entertaining as all hell. During the third act, when fate has all the shit surrounding Stretch come to a head, feels a tad sloppy in its execution but, in the end, all it did was keep this film from getting a perfect score. So, in reality, it’s not bad at all!
|Yep, not bad at all.|
Stretch is a hell of a lot of a good time and just a fantastic movie. Patrick Wilson is phenomenal alone and, when paired with a stupidly fun performance from Chris Pine, he’s even better. The presentation is top notch and the story is absolutely excellent. The complaints are small and, for all intents and purposes, nearly non-existent. Overall, it’s a very enthralling film that I will, without a doubt, watch quite a bit in the future.