Stretch writer and director Joe Carnahan seems to be developing a consistent theme in his films: masculinity and the fight to become the alpha male.
His previous work includes films such as Smokin’ Aces and The A-Team. Stretch falls into the same theme, unsurprisingly, but this time, Carnahan puts his main character ‘Stretch’ through a series of crazy events that would occur in a Hangover movie.
Kevin Stretch (Patrick Wilson) is a limo driver in Los Angeles. His dream is to become an actor but unfortunately, things just don’t seem to be working out for him. He decided to drive the rich and famous around the city in a stretch limousine. He is boarder line depressed when he loses his girlfriend (Brooklyn Decker) to a football star and, on top of it, he owes $6000.00 to gangsters due to an old gambling debt.
The gangsters give him until the end of the day to pay back the money before they kill him. If things are not bad enough he keeps having visions of his dead friend Karl (Ed Helms), who he thinks is haunting him. Stretch puts his hope in Charlie (Jessica Alba), his colleague, to help him find the money. In order to find the money, he decides to chauffer Roger Karos (Chris Pine), a drug-crazed madcap who happens to be a billionaire. With the hope of landing a fat tip to pay his debt, Stretch escorts Karos for the evening. For him, this means a crazy night involving the FBI, sexual encounters with hookers, night clubs, cash heists and other lunatic acts. In the desperate attempt to sort out his debt with mob Stretch decides to go on the wildest ride of his life.
The narrative is messy and has too much going on. The film has a lot of unnecessary elements that could have been left out, such as the ghost of Karl. And why is Stretch hooking up with girls on internet dating sites when he is supposed to be trying to find money to save his life? The film is extremely farfetched, it’s no wonder the studio dropped it. The film is packed with perverse scenes and R-Rated comedy, which is a lazy style of comedy in my opinion. However, the element that makes the film interesting is that the character is against the clock to save his life. You can’t help but sympathize with him hoping that he will endure and come out alive in the end.
Patrick Wilson did a good job playing the pressured limo driver. The ensemble cast gave notable performances which overall made the film fun to watch.