Starring: Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, Chris Pine
Director: Joe Carnahan
Running Time: 94 mins
Stretch is an American film about a failed actor turned limo driver who, after falling into a $6000 debt with local bookies, takes on a mad client who, although has the promise of tipping big, pulls him into a world of criminals and the maddest night of his life.
Now, this is probably one of the most messed-up, psychedelic, but massively entertaining films I’ve ever seen. It really feels like a modern action adaptation of Martin Scorsese’s After Hours, but rather than being so frustrating, this is a hell of a lot of fun to watch.
One reason for that is the fantastic performances. Patrick Wilson is a hugely likeable, convincing and exciting central character, while the bizarre Ed Helms and the fantastic Ray Liotta and David Hasselhoff in two of the funniest cameos I’ve ever seen really added to the manically hilarious atmosphere of this film.
However, kudos goes to Chris Pine for a stunning performance as the disturbingly insane Mr. Karos. He plays a weird combination of Jordan Belfort, Tyler Durden and Braveheart that makes you wonder what the hell you’re seeing every time he pops up on screen, but he’s so funny, intriguing and unpredictable that you can’t help being massively entertained.
In terms of the story, it is effectively the same as After Hours, i.e. a man ends up on the run (or in a limo in this case) around a big city running out of time in the middle of the night, and is being chased and hunted by so many different people that it seems almost as if he’s at a loss wherever he goes.
However, the big difference between this and After Hours, I thought, was that this didn’t get so frustrating. In the Scorsese movie, the main character acts like a total idiot, and in the end it felt like a camera chasing a dimwit around the streets of New York, whereas in this film, the main character at least gets on top of things, and drives the story himself, which really helps to entice you so much into the plot.
I’ve got to admit that this isn’t by any means of the imagination a particularly good or intelligent film, but it seems impossible to me to escape the fact that this film is so fast-paced and entertaining, so that’s why it gets a 7.4 from me.