Film Review – Stretch (2014)

Stretch 2014

Title – Stretch (2014)

Director – Joe Carnahan (The Grey)

Cast – Patrick Wilson, Jessica Alba, Ed Helms, Chris Pine, James Badge Dale, Brooklyn Decker, Randy Couture, Ray Liotta

Plot – Down on his luck limo driver and wannabe actor Stretch (Wilson) finds himself in dire straits with his gambling debts and angry boss and in an act of desperation takes on crazed passenger Roger Karos (Pine) in hope that he may be his financial salvation. A wild night ensues.

“I don’t believe in fate, destiny… to me life’s nothing but timing”

Review by Eddie on 21/04/2016

A fine director who burst onto the scene with the terrific yet underseen Tom Cruise backed Narc, then went onto direct the so-so big budgeted A-Team redo and one of the most underrated thrillers of the modern era in the form of the pulse pounding The Grey, director Joe Carnahan has had an eclectic career behind the camera, no more personified by Stretch, a film virtually dumped by its studio and left to live a life of relative obscurity in the libraries of forgotten movies.

Aiming to find the success and balance of humour, violence and darkness that pulses through the veins of films like Snatch, Crank and the oddball exercises of the Coen Brothers, Stretch sees Carnahan try his hand at satirical insights into the world of Hollywood and the dark underbelly it entails but under the guise of Patrick Wilson’s hard luck wannabe actor turned gambling debt riddled limousine driver Stretch, Carnahan finds himself on shaky ground and while the director has found success with action orientated thrillers in the past, his skill set is not used to great effect here.

Stretch often feels forced and uneasy, Wilson in particular seems unsuited to the role that continues his long line of disappointing acting choices when films like Watchmen and Little Children show off his potential while supporting actors such as Jessica Alba, Ed Helms and the horribly over the top Chris Pine can’t score a touchdown for a film that was searching for its greatest win from its cast. Wilson’s Stretch isn’t also a creation that seems overly enjoyable and while films of this ilk often harbor a fairly dire central figure, Stretch isn’t funny enough or stupid enough for us to really care whilst the narrative’s “what a crazy night” type scenario never takes off even though it throws jockstraps, big bodied Russian’s and celebrity cameos (another winning Norman Reedus moment a highlight) our way in abundance.

Stretch is without a doubt a wild ride and a unique one in many respects but Carnahan’s misdirection and the films unbalanced tonal shifts certainly don’t help its causes and at the end of the nights adventures it’s not hard to see why the studio dropped this film like its hot, as it’s not exactly clear at who Stretch was aimed for or what it was trying to achieve.

2 angry Hasselhoff’s out of 5

6 responses to “Film Review – Stretch (2014)

  1. Carnahan’s great at these kind of twisted, off-putting tales, which is why I wish he got the opportunity to make more movies. Nice review Eddie.

  2. Great write up! I must say that I was quite a fan of this, it was an unexpected (albeit predictable) movie that I enjoyed.

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