Rotten Tomatoes: 88%
Stretch’s Joe Carnahan has a knack for action. While his Filmography stretches from straight-up thrillers (Narc or The Grey) to shows like The Blacklist, the man has wondrous touch & timing with the dance of destruction. Carnahan excels in the action-comedy thriller (Smokin’ Aces or the underrated, ridiculous A-Team). This type of film needs a name better than thriller/comedy. Thromedy? Comedy-Action-thriller? Comatriller? Wait, no, that’s my new rapper name. Coma Trilla album drops January. Everything the director works with has a distinct flair. The actors involved clearly buy in to the absurdity (we’ll talk about Chris Pine below). His movies are generally very entertaining, well cast, and boast a ballet of bonkers badassery (patting myself on the back for that one).
Should I Pay to See it?
Want to see a surprising actor go bonkers? The movie has had an odd means of trickling out to the public, due to studio issues (which you can brief yourself on here and here), so the question really means should I buy this movie on DVD? This will depend on your desire to re-watch such a demented, funny, profane Drive. Otherwise, you should without question check this out on Netflix. With the release and promotional problems, this might actual be the best for the movie. Streaming this movie is well worth your time (and it only runs about an hour & a half – at breakneck speed) and will no doubt find some life on Netflix from curious viewers. Let me clear: Stretch is not a piece of abstract modern art. This is candy for your brain. Loud, fast and ridiculous. Like a dancehall remix of a pop song, you’re familiar but your heart is made to race. The movie is profane, blunt, and pretty damn funny.
Could I watch it with a date?
Not everyone loves action movies. To each their own. Stretch poses an interesting twist on the question here because this movie is so over-the-top it’s brilliant. Points of fate, luck and timing are obviously piled on, but so is the swearing, chase scenes and characters. If your date can embrace a weird Thromedy (how did that sound, I’m trademarking that mashup), then you will like the movie. It would be hard to sit there and not find at least ONE thing that amuses or tickles some part of you moviewatching brain. Because, despite all the absurdity and swearing, Carnahan does have an eye for great shots, and equally great comedic sensibility. Even the choices framing and other camera work setting up to amuse the audience. Prime examples being any of the shots of Chris Pine speaking. Here’s my note on that: Holy Toledos, Chris Pine is one funny weirdo. He’s excellent. I have new, even higher hopes for Horrible Bosses 2 knowing Pine can be so ridiculous. Patrick Wilson, forever undervalued in my mind, can bounce from schlub to someone-not-to-mess-with admirably and easy to root for. Ed Helms has a role I won’t spoil for you, but he, too amuses and has a mustache. So keep that in mind.
Could I watch it with my mother?
Would you like me to explain why in one scene?
Above is a still from Norman Reedus’ brief cameo (Ed Helms is his driver). Here’s the full clip. This scene happens within the movie’s first ten minutes. Call it a jumping off point for hilarious (and delirious) insanity. Just maybe not for mom.
I enjoyed this movie quite a bit, so ignore other people’s reviews. Honestly, I think sometimes people forget why most of us watch movies in the first place. I liked the cast. I like the way the story was told and intertwined (though not as madly as Smokin’ Aces). I greatly enjoy Carnahan’s camerawork (everywhere, The Blacklist really grew on me) and some of the tricks he uses. The big one? Told from Wilson’s (aka ‘Stretch’s) point of view, we spend the night following his exploits while screens are beeping and booping for his attention and pop up on screen for us as well and added to the frenetic pace (Also, don’t text and drive kids). If the musing about fate, luck and timing were somewhat overdone, I think most people won’t mind having such a dissimilar meeting of thoughtful and thoughtless while enjoying a insane, bearded Chris Pine.