Monday, April 24, 2017

Stretch (2014)

Number Rolled: 76
Movie Name/Year: Stretch (2014)
Tagline: Shift happens.
Genre: Action, Comedy
Length: 94 minutes
Rating: R
Production Companies: Universal Pictures, Blumhouse Productions, Chambara Pictures, IM Global
Producer: Jason Blum, Ben Hernandez Bray, Jeanette Brill, Joe Carnahan, Leon Corcos, Jerry Corley, Phillip Dawe, Gerard DiNardi, Tracy Falco, Nila Najand, Tony Roman, Rob Rose, Couper Samuelson
Director: Joe Carnahan
Writer: Joe Carnahan, Jerry Corley, Rob Rose
Actors: Patrick Wilson, Ed Helms, James Badge Dale, Brooklyn Decker, Jessica Alba, Ray Liotta, David Hasselhoff, Randy Couture, Mindy Robinson, Woody Carnahan, Norman Reedus, Matthew Willig, Kaleti Williams, Shaun Toub, Ryan O’Nan, Katie Kerr, Christopher Michael Holley, Jacqui Holland, Ben Hernandez Bray, Jason Mantzoukas, Dominic Bagarozzi, Shaun White, Joe Carnahan, Chris Pine
Stunt Doubles: Ted Barba, Brady Romberg, Mark Aaron Wagner

Blurb from Netflix: Limo jockey Stretch has no idea what’s in store for him when his gambling debt compels him to take on a job driving an eccentric billionaire.

Selina’s Point of View:
I finished watching Stretch about an hour ago and I’m still kind of laughing. I thought it would be more action than comedy, but the genre scale definitely tipped in the other direction.

When I first saw the trailer, I knew I was going to likely enjoy the film, but I didn’t know it would be THIS good. I figured it would be a pretty basic Fast and the Furious (2001) type with enough comedy in it to set it apart. This film was nowhere near that. It was remarkably original and I absolutely loved the base message in it.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not preachy or moralistic. That’s not what I mean. The base message is just that – a base. They built upon it with so much more substance.

Chris Pines (The Finest Hours, Horrible Bosses 2, Star Trek Into Darkness) was almost unrecognizable in his part as the super strange limo client. Here’s the thing, I didn’t even realize he was in the film at first. I don’t think I recognized him in the trailer and he’s not actually credited in the movie. I have no idea why. Maybe he just wanted to do the film because the script kicked ass. I’d buy that. In fact, that’s now headcanon to me. He liked the script so much he decided he didn’t need credit. (Trust the Dice does not claim this as fact.)

Patrick Wilson’s (A Kind of Murder, Fargo, Zipper) performance was believable as well, and his chemistry with Pine was flawless. The two of them acting together in this setting just felt right.

I don’t normally shout-out to casting directors, but Sharon Bialy (The Walking Dead, Breaking Bad, Child’s Play) clearly has her head on straight. After looking at her IMDb credits (going back to 1986), I can see that she’s pretty much part of the A-List of casting directors. At least, in my opinion. I don’t really know much about the subject, but her credits are self-explanatory.

I will admit that I didn’t think Ed Helm’s character was all that necessary to the story. He’s a fine actor, it’s not about that, it’s just the character in general. I can see what he might be representing, I just think the character did nothing to add or detract from the story. It could have been pretty much the same movie without him. However, it doesn’t lower my rating for Stretch or change my overall opinion.

Nothing really negative comes to mind when I think of Stretch. I will definitely be watching it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
I don’t recall hearing anything about this movie prior to this. I’ve got to say, though, that for a movie with only a 21-day shoot and a budget of five million dollars; they really got a lot of bang for their buck. This movie was hilarious and awesome.

There was a great balance here between action and comedy elements. It wasn’t too over the top, and I completely bought what the film was selling.

This movie was a pleasant surprise for me on several levels. It was definitely a relief after last week’s mid-week dud and the emotionally wrenching film that followed.

Let’s talk cast. Chris Pine (Unstoppable, Into the Woods, SuperMansion) wasn’t even credited and is nearly unrecognizable in his role here. Even so, he brought a magnetic charisma to his eccentric character that made the insanity entirely believable.

I don’t typically envision Patrick Wilson (The Phantom of the Opera, The Ledge, Home Sweet Hell) in an action lead role such as this. Maybe I just have films like Insidious (2010) and The Conjuring (2013) stuck in my head after recently watching The Conjuring 2 (2016). He really made it work, though, and I found myself rooting for him during his collision with Murphy’s Law.

It was also rather refreshing that in a movie quite full of its share of raunch and nudity that Jessica Alba (Awake, Little Fockers, The Veil), while still gorgeous and absolutely capable of carrying parts like that, was fully clothed and innocent for her part.

There were some pretty epic cameos, which were brilliant. Hey, it’s a movie about a limo driver so you have to expect some celebrity clientele, right? A couple of them had me outright geeking out.

I’ve got to tip my hat to writer/director Joe Carnahan (Smokin' Aces, The A-Team, The Grey) for making the ludicrous plausible and immensely entertaining.

While it’s safe to say that this this movie is definitely not for a younger audience for a plethora of adult-oriented reasons; I would watch this one again in a heartbeat, and definitely recommend it – in fact, I already have!

Speech Available: English
Subtitles Available: English

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 64%
Metascore - 63/100
Metacritic User Score – None
IMDB Score – 6.5/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5

P.S. Bloopers during the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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