Movie Review - Stretch (2014)

As the movie is running, you go with the comedy and action. You forget about the unlikelihood and unlike-ability of the characters and the situations. Yet, there's a problem in that the reason the movie works is the same reason the movie ultimately doesn't work. Patrick Wilson stars as Kevin, an aspiring actor who currently works as a limo driver. Kevin is an alcoholic and cocaine addict. He's told by his drug dealer that he owes $6,000 and has to pay it by day's end or he's dead. He thinks he can get the money from an eccentric limo client who is apparently very wealthy.

First things first! I love Patrick Wilson. I've loved him in almost every thing I've seen him since Angels in America and Hard Candy. He is a phenomenal actor and he's also drop dead gorgeous. Having him as the lead in this movie absolutely is understandable. He's able to sell the ridiculousness of this story. He's able to maintain your attention. He can be quite charming even when he's being miserable.

However, Wilson is almost too good. I suppose the fact that his character has substance abuse problems is meant to be his inhibiting factor, but I don't buy Wilson in this role. Given how handsome he is and how much acting talent he and his character have, I don't buy that he would be in this position at his age with no prospects.

I know that there are very good-looking and very talented people who don't get work and who are passed over everyday. Most of those people are minorities and less tall, dark, chiseled white guys. With the over-abundance of television, broadcast, cable and Internet, it seems as if someone who wanted to be an actor could find work. Whether it's Hemlock Grove or Sharknado or some random commercial, you'd think you could find something.

Writer-director Joe Carnahan does very little to flesh out that aspect of Kevin's life. There's narration from Kevin that hammers how much of a loser he is all around, but there's never the case made of why if he truly wants to be an actor, he isn't in something or doing more. His substance abuse problems don't seem to have that much of a grip on him. He seems very much in control, just unlucky.

What also isn't fleshed out is Kevin's relationship with Candace, played by Brooklyn Decker. Kevin spends the whole movie or a lot of it pining or obsessing over Candace, yet I'm never really sure why. Yes, she's beautiful, but all we see of her are the moment he meets her and the moment she dumps him. Both moments are quite traumatic, and without showing anything else, it's a head-scratcher why based on those two moments, which don't put her in the best of light, he would be so hung up on her or care so much.

These problems can be ignored thanks to some comedic performances that can have you laugh it off. It starts with David Hasselhoff playing a version of himself that's pretty hilarious. His presence is rather fitting being that aside from Baywatch, he's also well-known for his TV series Knight Rider in which he played a guy who spent most of the time behind the wheel of a black car. It's fitting because the protagonist here spends most of the time behind the wheel of a black car.

The crowning achievement is Chris Pine who plays Roger Karos. Pine worked with Carnahan before in Smokin' Aces (2006), but Pine is probably best known for his role in JJ Abrams' Star Trek (2009). Roger Karos though has got to be Pine's craziest persona to date. Eccentric and weird only begin to describe Karos. His introduction is one of the most audacious introductions of the year with his ass-cheeks and cock being the first thing you see of him. It does set up the debauchery to come.

Yet, Wilson does carry this film. With his role in films like Barry Munday (2010) and the recent Space Station 76 (2014), and TV shows like Girls, he's more than proven he can do comedy. Carnahan certainly gives him standout moments to prove it here, so for that it's one to watch. From a car navigation gag to one with a club bouncer, Wilson is great.

It's unfortunate that the ending didn't end on a gag but instead on a sweet, romantic note that I'm not sure the movie earned.

Three Stars out of Five.
Rated R for language, sexual content and nudity.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 35 mins.


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