If you have a Netflix or Amazon Prime account, I want you to do a search for the movie Stretch. Add it to your watch list, and when you have a spare 94 minutes, and you’re in the mood for a fast-paced quirky R rated comedy, I want you to give this film a chance. Because it’s one of those underrated gems, that despite its faults and relegation to ‘direct-to-video’ by Universal Pictures, manages to pack quite a lot of entertaining stuff into its easily manageable running time.
But as I said, it has faults. I found parts of this movie a total mess, and it has way too much voice over exposition for my taste. It’s also bat shit crazy at times, and the plot’s contrivances frequently strain credibility. I must admit I did consider bailing on the film after the twenty-minute mark.
Despite all that though, I hung in there, and the movie’s quirky charm eventually won me over. Patrick Wilson, as the titular character, anchors the film perfectly, and seems totally in tune with director Joe Carnahan’s offbeat vision for the film. The script is laced with great moments of dialog, and Chris Pine turns in an absolute must-see (and uncredited) performance as a crazy billionaire called Roger Karos.
Stretch is incredibly uneven, and there are as many laugh out loud moments as there are scenes that will have you scratching your head. But therein lies the movie’s charm I think. At times, it felt like a series of experiments. Some good, others not so much – but I always appreciated the effort either way.
It puts a long time supporting actor Patrick Wilson in a leading role, and casts huge leading stars in support. When the going gets tough, our hero dives into the action and thrives, when a regular movie would have them duck and cover. It takes established movie tropes and gives them a little spin to see what happens. Which is probably why the powers that be at Universal Pictures couldn’t figure out what to do with the film, and just dumped it in the bargain rental bin. I’m telling you now, this film deserved better.
Stretch is a ‘worst day ever’ kind of movie, and actually reminded me a little of Scorsese’s After Hours. The film is rated R for language, drugs, moments of sexuality and some violence.
This film is decently made, but will be serviced perfectly well on any size screen you care to watch it on.
I loved Chris Pine in this film. He just totally hams up his role as the eccentric billionaire, and is hilarious. David Hasselhoff also makes a memorable appearance, and gets some incredible dialog!
“I once forcibly sodomized a Vietcong colonel with a stick grenade because he placed an ancestral curse on me while I was interrogating him, and I don’t even believe in ancestral curses but that’s how fucking deep I roll.”
– The HOFF
I bet you want to watch this movie now. Right?