Stretch (2014)

Here's the thing about this movie - it has a bunch of big name stars in it, but I never heard anything about it when it came out. Does that make it a sleeper? Is it a snoozer? After watching it, I'd say it was just plain under the radar. I don't really know what its deal is - it's no blockbuster, but it's not exactly something destined to become a cult classic.

I would never have picked Patrick Wilson to star in my movie with this script, as he tends to be overshadowed in almost any role he fills. I don't know why, but he just doesn't strike me as the leading man that he clearly is. In the few movies I've seen where he stars, there's always someone bigger and better to steal the spotlight. The same is the case in this movie.

Patrick is a limo driver working for some yelling guy (Shaun Toub) and dispatched by Jessica Alba. They put her hair up, dress her in ill-fitting clothes, and give her glasses (did that trick even work with Sandra Bullock in Love Potion Number 9?). He has lived life fast and loose, and he is working his way back to legitimacy. He has a large debt with his old bookie (Ben Bray), and he is afraid his life will never amount to anything. He's pretty sure he'll never act, and that was why he moved to the West coast in the first place. To make matters worse, he hasn't gotten over his unbelievably hot girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker) leaving him for some professional sportsball player.

Patrick doesn't want to become like the guy who was the ultimate in limo drivers, played by Ed Helms. Ed killed himself to get rid of his dead-end life, and he now haunts (as a vision, not as an actual ghost or anything) Patrick's mind every time something happens to doom Patrick, and things happen a lot. In that respect, this movie is like what the guys who wrote The Hangover would write if they were given the strict instructions to make a movie about one night of a limo driver's life.

In order to make more money, Patrick steals a fare from his main rival, an unrecognizable Randy Couture as "the Jovi", and that's where the night gets strange. As he has now upset the mysterious Jovi, the menacing brother (Matt Willig) seems to follow Patrick around in his "Cossack" tow truck. Most of the time, this just results in freaking Patrick out, and it's another way to give the audience the feeling that the world is closing in around Patrick, and there may be no way out.

Ed Helms is very in-your-face.
Chris Pine is a wacky billionaire who is the fare that Patrick steals, and Chris promises to wipe out the gambling debt if Patrick does all of his bidding for the evening. As a result, Patrick is all in, and that means dealing with strange requests, potentially illegal deals, and threats to his person. His biggest difficulty is the manhunt started against him by the lead FBI Agent (James Badge Dale). The only thing that seems to have a worse night than Patrick is the limo. That poor limo.

As a bonus, we get David Hasselhoff playing himself. Well, a version of himself. Norman Reedus doesn't get a character name, but I can't imagine he is playing himself, as there are some dead bodies involved. Shaun White and Ray Liotta also swing by as themselves to add a little spice to the cast list. Like I said at the beginning, this has a lot of stars, and it seems odd to use Patrick as your leading man.

Direction was good
Story was also pretty good
Dialog was very good
Acting was very good
Editing was good

Bottom Line: A cross between The Hangover and Collateral, this movie is better than I would have expected.



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