Patrick Wilson, Chris Pine, Jessica Alba, Ed Helms
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…absurd and often offensive…
Joe Carnahan (The Grey) writes and directs this off-kilter comedy that, but for the grace of God, could share a cinematic universe with Todd Phillips’ Hangover trilogy. Patrick Wilson plays Stretch, a struggling actor begrudgingly admitting to himself that his part-time job as a limo driver is really a full-time gig. Racking up a six-grand debt to a Mexican cartel, salvation comes in the form of Chris Pine’s hedonistic playboy, Roger Karos, who will pay off all of Stretch’s debts if he just does exactly what he says for one night.
After an unnecessarily slow start to introduce Stretch and his universe, Stretch picks up speed once Pine parachutes naked into the limo driver’s life, with the Star Trek actor clearly having the time of his life buried under an absurd amount of beard and hair. The scenes that he shares with Wilson are some of the best, as Stretch’s schtick comes undone in the face of Karos’ penchant for snorting anything and causing as much disturbance as possible. “Are you a Firestarter?!” he screams, lit up by a fire that he himself has started in the back of Stretch’s limo.
In what is almost an evil twin to Michael Mann’s Collateral, Stretch soon finds himself under pressure to meet his passenger’s increasingly bizarre demands, culminating in the centrepiece of the film: a race against time to pick up a large amount of drugs and money for an orgy. With its superfluous female characters (including poor Jessica Alba), who say little and wear even less, Stretch is essentially a boy’s club movie. Sweep that aside if you can, and the film’s absurd and often offensive humour will win you over. It’s not big and it’s not clever, but it will raise a smile or two.